Prince Dining Room

This well-known hospitality space has been opened up, to create a more contemporary, layered dining experience, and energised by a material palette inspired by the glamorous complexity of its high-profile St Kilda location.

Our client’s orig­i­nal inten­tion was to give the Prince Din­ing Room a light makeover. How­ev­er, they wel­comed our rec­om­men­da­tion for a more expan­sive ren­o­va­tion, to pro­vide a com­plete break from the venue’s for­mer iden­ti­ty as icon­ic restau­rant Circa.

This approach also allowed us to unlock the full poten­tial of the space, which had long been com­pro­mised by a com­part­men­talised floor plan.

St Kil­da, Boon­wur­rung Land



Floor Area


Our design strat­e­gy was inspired by the his­to­ry of the build­ing and the char­ac­ter of the sur­round­ing area, and has deliv­ered a con­tem­po­rary restau­rant that fits neat­ly into the broad­er offer­ing of the Prince Hotel complex.

To open up the floor plan, we added as many new win­dows and door­ways as the build­ing would allow, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the heavy struc­tur­al wall that bisects the entire floor. This sig­nif­i­cant­ly increased the din­ing room’s capac­i­ty and enabled us to estab­lish dif­fer­ent zones with­in the restaurant. 

Patrons can now sit at the bar or in front of the kitchen, in the main din­ing space or out on the ter­race, each loca­tion offer­ing a dis­tinct din­ing expe­ri­ence, but con­nect­ed to the shared environment. 

The inte­ri­or is char­ac­terised by uncon­ven­tion­al com­bi­na­tions of luxe and more util­i­tar­i­an mate­ri­als, inspired by the Stream­line Mod­erne archi­tec­ture of the orig­i­nal build­ing, but also the ener­gis­ing mix of high” and low” cul­ture that makes St Kil­da so exciting. 

There are ban­quettes made from fibre­glass, uphol­stered in vel­vet; din­ing chairs of wrought iron and plas­tic, arranged around tables with beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al stone infills; a volup­tuous­ly curved bar sculpt­ed from sheet met­al; and columns clad in glossy black tiles. 

On the walls, the con­nec­tion to St Kilda’s grit­ty-but-glam­orous street-life is made explic­it, most notably with a selec­tion of can­did images by renowned Aus­tralian pho­tog­ra­ph­er Ren­nie Ellis.

The lay­er­ing of spaces with­in the restau­rant makes for a con­vivial, shared expe­ri­ence, and its dynam­ic mix of mate­ri­als and fin­ish­es gives the place a unique and irre­sistible energy.

The overt­ly for­mal approach to hos­pi­tal­i­ty that pre­vailed dur­ing Circa’s hey­day has been left behind. The new Prince Din­ing Room is unques­tion­ably a restau­rant for its place and time, and a din­ing des­ti­na­tion once more.