In an exclusive with Studio -Gram’s Graham Charbonneau, salivate over Abbots & Kinney, the latest handcrafted patisserie causing a stir in Adelaide, Australia.
Material exploration was the focus for Graham Charbonneau and Dave Bickmore of Studio -Gram in their newest design for pastry chef Jonny Pisanelli’s patisserie and espresso bar. Abbots & Kinney is a tribute to Californian icon Abbot Kinney, the developer who brought the magic of Venice to Los Angeles in 1905, and Pisanelli himself, who was inspired to bring fine Italian coffee and artisanal pastries to Adelaide. Introduced by their collaborating partners, Crafty (Dave Lawson) and Alex Hall, Studio -Gram wanted to highlight the contemporary twist in Pisanelli’s pastries. Charbonneau says, “It was important to Jonny that the café take on its own personality, that it set itself apart from other cafés, and that it should be as bespoke as the pastries that come from his oven.”
This appetite for “duality, originality, and craft” culminated in Abbots & Kinney’s dynamic design. The space is split on the diagonal, with one side constructed with custom-made timber framing, and the other side flushed and painted a matte black to match the sleek espresso machine. Described by Charbonneau as having a “split personality,” the design depicts the recipe for inspiration.
Like Pisanelli’s trademark sfogliatelles, light and flaky pastries with thin leaves filled with ricotta sweetened with candied orange rind, the patisserie’s wooden beams are layered and exquisitely tailored. Free of linings and folded to reveal the oft-overlooked construction techniques, the timber is not only used for - parts of - the ceiling and walls, but the counter, benches, tables, and stools as well. Charbonneau says, “Every joinery item, including the bin, are bespoke elements, every joint was measured against tradition, and expressed in a contemporary manner, a true reflection of the client’s craft.”
Meanwhile, the trompe l’oeil effect of the black wall draws the eye to the single decoration in the patisserie: a handmade white palm tree, where the letters “VE” “LA” and “ADL” depict the otherwise unlikely connection between three cities on three different continents.
Studio -Gram’s bold design for Abbots & Kinney is an homage to artists of varied crafts, celebrating innovation across both borders and generations.