Inca Ponsonby – excitingly different

Inca fit-out

Inca Ponsonby – excitingly different

The fit-out of one of Ponsonby’s hottest new restaurants, Inca, was another chance for Datum Projects to showcase its flexibility in delivery and execution. Delivering a high-end space with many bespoke elements, the finished product is one Datum is justifiably proud of.

Datum Managing Director Seth Gleeson says they were delighted to work alongside interior design studio CTRL_ – a partnership which both sides agree was a perfect match.

“CTRL_’s expertise in restaurants means they really know their business and make practical decisions, on time,” Seth says. “This was the first time we have worked with them on a project of this size, and will happily do so again.”

The admiration is mutual. CTRL_ Project Director Emily Cain is equally enthusiastic about the Inca fit-out. “We are used to getting hit with emails, phone calls and problems when projects are live on site, but with Datum, there were never problems,” she says. “We were only ever presented with pickups and solutions – to the point that sometimes we forgot Inca was under construction. It was so quiet from site because Datum was just getting on with it.”

Inca fit-out

Inca Ponsonby is the second iteration for owner Nic Watt, and this design is an evolution of what CTRL_ had achieved with the first Inca in Newmarket. The brief was to create an almost ‘cave-like’ atmosphere, but to build on the materials and finishes brought through from the first fit-out.

While Datum did not work on that first space, Emily took them there to highlight the touchpoints they needed to replicate to ensure continuity of style.

One of the notable components of the fit-out is a two-metre-long solid fuel hearth, coupled with a large amount of feature plaster. Emily notes that Datum were very proactive working with the contractors to make the process as seamless as possible. “They had to build and fit all the substrates for our artisan plasterer, giving him a clean slate to work on, and then be very careful not to damage the delicate surfaces once they had been finished.”Image credit: Inca Ponsonby

While Seth concedes the earthy finishes and multiple components in the space such as wall hatches kept the team on their toes, CTRL_ had a clear, well communicated vision from the start. “In a few instances, we went to them with something, and they simplified what we needed to do, or had great suggestions and ideas on how something could be done.”

Opening to rave reviews for its food, the interior fit-out is also attracting plenty of fans. Seth mentions the lights, the tapestries, the suspended rattan ceiling and the soft-toned marble as bringing a real warmth to the large space. And of course, there’s that show-stopping hearth. “When you go there, it just feels nice, you’re comfortable,” he reflects. “We had such a clear vision from the designer, and I really feel we have delivered to their expectations.”

As for the future of this successful collaboration, the dream team lives on. Emily says, “Datum has actually just completed two other projects for us, and we are really enjoying the relationship. Of course, we’re popping them forward for all of our clients to consider.”

If you’re ready to push play on your next fit-out project, get in touch with the Datum team.