Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

The Millswyn

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Winner

Project Overview

The Millswyn is a new neighborhood destination housed on the site formerly occupied by famed institution, Lynch's.
The spaces within The Millswyn graduate from light and airy to dark and intimate, always in appreciation of the leafy botanical outlook.

Dotted with artworks from the Anne Zahalka wildlife series, it is a fresh, comfortable space where domestic references are a rife and no doubt, a new institution is in the making.

Project Team


Davis Evolution
Davis Yu


Hecker Guthrie
Paul Hecker & Hamish Guthrie

Paul Hecker - Design Director
Hamish Guthrie - Design Director
Chloe Senior - Design Manager
Simone Kelly - Design Assistant

Project Brief

The brief by our client Davis, was to create a space that "transcends time". He wanted the clients to have a sense of familiarity when they entered the space, but without it feeling old or without it feeling new. This approach to the interiors also filters through to the food offer - all in all creating a space that appeals to all ages.

Project Innovation / Need

In short, we have created a fresh, comfortable and robust space where domestic references are rife and no doubt, an institute is in the making.” Walking through the transformed space, it becomes apparent that Hecker Guthrie delivered on their brief in the most creative sense. Old-fashioned plaited mops hang along the white tiled walls; Italian porcelain lights adorn the restaurant space and chrome and galvanised pendants dangle above the front bar. This playful array of European domestic objects creates an inviting, almost homely kitchen atmosphere in the breezy front breakfast bar.

In typical accordance with Davis’ appreciation of subtle differentiation, fine detailing stands out in this restaurant. The careful selection of vintage European copper wall sconces and American Shaker influenced furnishings complement the light olive-toned walls and timber panelling running through the restaurant. The historic marble fireplaces have been kept intact, allowing diners to enjoy the intimate cosiness of the inner dining room settings.

The Millswyn is South Yarra’s answer for a dining establishment that marries traditional charm with new world flavour.

Design Challenge

The challenge in the design of The Millswyn, is that this restaurant was replacing a well established dining institution 'Lynch's'.

As designers we had to be sure that we were creating an interior that didn't alienate the pre-exsiting clients, but rather reinvigorated them whilst also encouraging a whole new generaton of clientele.


To us, creating a sustainable space is creating a beautifully crafted and authentic interior that gets better with age.

The design solution in The Millswyn very much embraced the pre-existing architecture. Quirky elements that we may not have necessarily designed if we had the chance became an inherant part of the scheme, again giving a sense of authenticity and a sense of place to The Millswyn.