Prince Dining Room.


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

Although our client’s original intention was to give the Prince Dining Room a light makeover, they welcomed our recommendation for a more expansive renovation: firstly, to provide a complete break from its former identity as iconic restaurant Circa; and secondly, to unlock the full potential of the space, which had long been compromised by a compartmentalised floor plan. In response, we designed a contemporary restaurant inspired by the history of the building and the character of the surrounding area, that fits neatly into the layered offering of the broader 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 fit-out itself 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, 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. Clearly, the overtly formal approach to hospitality that prevailed during Circa’s heyday has been left behind; in its stead, the Prince Dining Room is unquestionably a restaurant for its place and time, and a dining destination once more.


St Kilda




Architectural Design
Branded Spaces
Decor & Styling
Furniture Selection
Interior Design

Design Team

Iva Foschia
Ken Snell
Tamara Glick
Anouska Milstein
Meagan Brooks


Photography by Sharyn Cairns

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