Located alongside the outer glazing line of Brisbane’s Domestic Airport terminal, The Common enjoys outlook over the airside apron and high exposure to the concourse walkway. Bold forms, a saturated colour scheme and a playful energy distinguish the café within the highly stimulative, visually homogeneous airport environment.
Working within an airport to find joy in an anonymous fitout shell and securing a high-quality design outcome are both achievements of note. The Common reaches these benchmarks and goes well beyond, providing an excellent airside-viewing dining experience. This experience is specifically shaped to give arriving domestic visitors a “first taste” of Queensland through bold colour, rich materiality, light and openness. Taking visual cues from the beachside lifestyle that Queensland boasts along its coastline, The Common has been conceptualized somewhat like an abstract painting. It is furnished liberally with Australian-designed pieces by Ross Gardam, DesignByThem and Linear Standard. Light fittings, hardware and custom finishes such as polished plaster have been installed, with a colour palette specially conceived for this particular installation. The outcome gives this transitory space a memorable sense of place and identity. It is the opposite of a “placeless” airport venue, working both with and against the homogeneity of the backdrop. It proves that good Australian design has a role to play in even the most generic of social and civic spaces, the twenty-first-century airport.