Project |Café Sydney’s Sustainable New Bar Area

Project | Cafe Sydney’s Sustainable New Bar Area


Pictured: Refurbished Vitra Organic Chair in Cafe Sydney's Bar

Iconic is the right word to describe the fine dining institution, Cafe Sydney. With a view that steals your attention, and stunning cuisine that steals it right back, Cafe Sydney has become as synonymous with the Sydney dining scene as the harbour is to Australia. Always a supporter of original authentic design, since 2019 Cafe Sydney has been working with Cultivated to renew and restore its classic furniture pieces to be used for many years into the future.


Pictured: Refurbished Vitra Organic Chair at Cafe Sydney

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Pictured: Refurbished Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chairs at Cafe Sydney

Since 1990, Cafe Sydney has been serving up some of the best food the city has to offer, to locals and guests alike. On the edge of Sydney Harbour, it boasts unparalleled views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Opera House. Cultivated has worked with the restaurant for several years to maintain existing classic furniture items, which include Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chairs and more recently Organic Lounge Chairs from Vitra.

Tucked away in the corner of the restaurant, with a full view of the harbour, sits Cafe Sydney’s fine dining room. Decorated in mirrors and hardwoods and lined with Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chairs, the exclusive area is fit for any fancy occasion. Arne Jacobsen designed the Series 7 chairs in 1955, and they quickly became one of the most recognisable and sort-after design objects in the world. This was also around the same time his compatriot, Jorn Utzon, was designing the Sydney Opera House. Now both sit on the harbour side by side.

To complete the restoration, the chairs were removed from their existing material, and using our skilled craftspeople, the chairs were recovered in leather. This meant that much of the existing chair could be retained, reducing the use of finite materials in manufacturing and supporting local skills and economies.

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Pictured: Cafe Sydney Fine Dining Room with Refurbished Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chairs

During a recent renewal of the Restaurants bar area, Cultivated was engaged to supply restoration services to the Vitra Organic Lounge chairs located there. The Organic chairs were originally designed in 1940 by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen for a competition being held by New York MOMA. Due to fabrication issues, it wasn’t until 1950 that a production model was available for purchase. Whilst the Café Sydney chairs were in great structural condition, the chairs needed their worn fabric and foam refreshed so they could live their second life in the space for many years to come.


Pictured: Vitra Organic Chairs at the Cultivated Workshop


Pictured: Hand stitching of a Vitra Organic Chair at the Cultivated Workshop

Leaving the timber legs as they were, the Cultivated workshop was able to carefully remove the existing fabric and foam, making sure to note damage to the fiberglass shell. The new foam was added and then the fabric layers were applied and hand-stitched together. The process is very hands-on and is a testament to the skilled people we have in Australia.

By choosing a path of renewal, Cafe Sydney has demonstrated how quality authentic design lasts and how a furniture circular economy can support the environment and local jobs.

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