Icebergs by Lazzarini Pickering was inducted into the Eat Drink Design Awards Hall of Fame on Tuesday Evening, in recognition of its enduring influence in design and its position in the Australian culinary landscape, following its opening in 2002.
The annual awards program recognizes and celebrates Australia and New Zealand’s best projects, rewarding design achievement in six categories; Best Bar Design, Best Restaurant Design, Best Café Design, Best Temporary Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.
A must visit for tourists and reliable eatery for locals, the iconic restaurant is arguably one of the most famous in Australia.
“I have always described the Icebergs design as my love letter to Sydney,” Carl Pickering, one half of Rome-based design practice Lazzarini Pickering said.
Opened in 2002, Icebergs immediately made a splash (pun intended). Purched on the hill of famous Bondi Beach's south side, the restaurant is seemingly one with the ocean below.
“The principal idea was to create a beach house rather than a restaurant.”
Working a palette inspired by the ocean, the dining room bleeds out to meet its environment, be that the ocean or the saltwater pool of Bondi Icebergs Club, established in 1929, below.
“We tried to be as invisible as possible in the design,” said Pickering.
Three years ago when restauranter Maurizio Terzini decided Icebergs needed a lift and (in response to the liberated liquor laws) greater capacity, he called Pickering back in. They found very little needed to be done.
“We updated the fabrics in the bar area with more spacey UV-protective stuff. Oh, and we redid the rattan chairs for the third time. But this time in acrylic rattan. They’re more durable and sun- and saltwater-resistant," said Terzini.
The Icebergs chair was designed especially for the space.
“We didn't want a restaurant full of chair legs so we designed the Icebergs chair. A chair that was comfortable for even a five-hour lunch, which often happens there – guests love to just stay around and order another bottle or two of wine. We even made a special wider one for Kerry Packer, who had a generous girth," said Pickering.
To point out the obvious -- a chair that wears out through bums on seats is the sign of a very successful restaurant indeed.