Ritz & Ghougassian’s Penta Café is essentially a minimalist’s dream. The combination of a monotone palette, offset by subtleties in materiality, geometric nuances and the cleanest of lines, Penta is a thing of pure joy. Situated in Elsternwick, in Melbourne, this newly completed project took a mere 3 months for design, 2 months for construction and is approximately 25m2 in size. The site itself is split up laterally, through the implementation of concentrated designed elements at the base, and the floating atmospheric volume above. It’s a play on concrete and air. The brief was for a transparent space, open-aired and allowing sightlines throughout the open volume.
The space consists of Neolithic terrazzo seating geometries, custom leather banquette seating and contrasting elements and volumes. The vertical planes are covered in perforated metal panels and allow for minor noise permeation, and a depth of materiality at the same time. The play on contrasts is real in this space, through volumes, colour selections, materiality and functionality. There is a sense of grandeur, and yet with the muted elements, a sense of warmth and enclosure through the planning within the space as well.
Ritz & Ghougassian have perfectly captured the essence of what it’s like to live and breathe the city of Melbourne; the laneways, the grey skies and the effortless sophistication. Hats off to a brilliant team, and a space I wouldn’t mind having a latte, or three.