The Olive Branch bridges the gap between refugees and their host communities to provide a “third space” between work and home life that is open to all. Guests of The Olive Branch are invited to immerse themselves in a sensorial celebration of culture and gastronomy to explore, share and delight together. Using food as common ground, guests from a multitude of different cultures, ethnicities and status can gather together to share something that all human beings relate to: our connection to food.
The Olive Branch provides a self-sufficient community driven hub that facilitates connection and celebrates food, diversity and culture. The Olive Branch provides an atmospheric experience where guests can cook, dine and relax. The act of eating triggers the release of endorphins and promotes bonding; therefore eating communally causes higher rates of satisfaction, happiness and stronger social networks.
Sensory design supports the wisdom of the body; it supports everyone’s opportunity to explore the world and experience joy, wonder and social connection. Senses connect people to their bodies and are commonly used as a grounding technique for those suffering from mental illness to bring them back to the present moment. Sensory elements of form, scale, materiality, texture, colour and light are juxtaposed within the entirety of the space, with each individual area treated as it’s own separate entity, creating an engaging sensory narrative that celebrates the beauty and
excitement of difference.
Upon arrival, guests travel through a free form threshold which transports them from the busy city street into a state of calm. It provides a sensory transition zone with the walls and floor made from the original brickwork of the building and natural cork which help to absorb sound, whilst providing an obscured view of what it to come.
Guests then filter into the kitchen, where they are able to cook, experiment or merely observe. The pureness of the space allows for complete sensory reset and creates the ideal canvas to showcase the beauty, vibrancy and excitement of food.
Travelling through the space into the lounge room, guests are invited to pause, linger and engage with the space and others before transitioning through further on their journey.
Arriving into the dining room, guests are presented with an entirely altered sensorial experience to the previous spaces. Met with deep electric blues and glossy black reflective surfaces, guests wander down the mirrored ramps either side of the room to emerge into the sunken dining space.
Looking up in the dining room, the domed ceiling reflects the glassy blue of the floor, ringed with concentric circular lights. The viewing balcony from the mezzanine level above is visible from both sides, allowing the viewers above to appreciate the spectacle and theatricality of the culinary experience below, whilst they themselves are observed in turn.
The viewing balcony garden wraps around the circumference of the building, providing an engaging platform where guests can grow and harvest food whilst observing the activity below.
The rear of the space has also been converted into an additional garden area to be used in the kitchen, as well as space to sit and engage with others.
Rebecca believes in using design as a tool to instil positive change in the world. With the knowledge she has gained from her interior design and architecture degree, she strives to provide creative solutions to improve the well-being of both people and the environment.