Rudimentary is a café and community space that aims to contribute to the transformation and evolution of a vibrant and culturally rich part of Melbourne and break the current trend of high rise developments.

Rudimentary started with an idea to transform an unused lot of land into something of significance for the area of Footscray. The lot had been in the family for over a decade but had never been more than an unofficial car park. With a limited budget and the need to construct from scratch, it was decided to create a business that was simple and could be adapted for future use. Instead of following the current trend of high rise developments – with no zest or life – we wanted to create a welcoming community space.

The name Rudimentary is derived from the idea that simple building blocks – whether it may be fresh produce, shipping containers, or recycled materials – could be used to create something more than the sum of their parts. The name was chosen early in the project and created the overarching business/design philosophy.

Architecture – The building is constructed from three 40ft high cube shipping container and one 20ft the building was designed to be relocated if the need arises – theoretically forming an identical business or a home in the country. Shipping containers were chosen for their ease of transport, robust character and simplicity. They are also synonymous with the West, with the ports of Melbourne located only a stone’s throw away, a key transport route runs directly through the area.

Sustainability was a key focus on the build and business from the very beginning. Use of sustainable materials, rainwater capture, passive cooling and heating, double-glazing, insulation, building relocation, are some the features. Located in the rear of the building you will also find composting facilities where coffee grounds are combined with kitchen garden scrapes to produce compost that is then used in the garden. A 20,000L rainwater tank captures the rainwater from the top of the building and stores for when it is time to water the plants.

The garden forms a critical role in tying the whole business together and creates a place of relaxation and wonder. The brief was to create a place that would form as a reprieve from the chaos of the surrounding area as well as create a space that would challenge your mind and provide sustenance for the restaurant. Our love affair with climbing and hiking meant that we needed to bring elements of the country back into this little block of land and this is the main reason for using native flora. Herbs, vegetables, fruit trees and edible are located throughout but specifically in the kitchen garden. This area towards the rear of the building provides a zone for the chefs to be creative and plant specific things that would then go into the kitchen and onto your plate.


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