In Australia, alfresco dining is a favourite pastime for many. Whether it’s an end-of-week dinner, a Sunday morning brunch, or a special occasion, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a meal or beverage in the open air. At Celmec, we’re working hard to ensure Australians’ favourite outdoor dining venues, across an array of luxurious locations, are comfortable year-round.
Southbank is home to some of Melbourne’s most acclaimed restaurants. With delicious menus, coveted drink lists, and breathtaking views of the river and cityscape contributing to the luxurious atmosphere, it’s not difficult to see why these eateries are so popular amongst city-goers. One of the most recent additions to the area is Yarra Botanica, floating just off the riverbank at Sandridge Bridge. Seating up to 700 guests, the two-storey, foliage-filled bar and eatery is open all year round. Distinctly Victorian in its location, menu and ambience, Yarra Botanica has already attracted reams of patrons.
Celmec is proud to have been part of this project. As a highly exposed, waterfront location susceptible to unpredictable weather conditions, we worked alongside the architects and electrical consultants on the project to ensure Yarra Botanica would be a warm and comfortable place for people to dine. Together, we developed the partially covered areas that would be protected from the sun, rain and wind, and provide much-needed heating during the winter.
To meet the needs of this challenging location, our Electric Radiant Heaters (ERH) were installed. Originally designed in 1998 to service the outdoor bars and restaurants along Circular Quay in preparation for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, our ERHs are a core part of our Heatray range and a benchmark for outdoor heating. Utilising the latest radiant heat technology, they deliver non-glowing, low-intensity black heat.
Their weather-resistant IPX-5 waterproof rating ensures they can withstand extreme weather conditions, which is perfect for the riverfront location at Yarra Botanica. We installed them under the ceilings and in the steel mesh pergola for superior warmth.
“Our ERHs were the best option for heating Yarra Botanica,” says Keith Short, Celmec’s project manager at Yarra Botanica. “They provide close proximity overhead heating, which is absorbed directly by the patrons and is not lost to the cold Yarra River breeze.”
The venue’s top storey, which did not have any ceiling cover, required further protection from the elements. We erected our Heatray Weather Controlled Umbrellas integrated with additional ERHs. This proved to be something of a challenge; the Umbrellas needed to be capable of supporting the weight of our ERHs, lighting and other accessories, and withstanding heavy winds, but the overall weight was a critical factor.
“To maintain the venue’s buoyancy, the Umbrellas, along with their lighting, electrical looms, control modules, and central hub trays housing all the wiring terminations within weatherproof junction boxes, had to be as light as possible,” says Keith.
Fortunately, Celmec was able to meet the buoyancy and weight requirements without compromising on comfort. Together with weather protection accessories, including translucent side covers, umbrella links and fabric gutters, the Umbrellas offer superior protection from wind, rain, and – for the summer months – UV. They also help the ERHs to operate more efficiently, cordoning off the area beneath them to prevent interference from the elements.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our extraordinary team, we created a warm, comfortable space at Yarra Botanica. Importantly, we were able to achieve this without impinging upon the luxurious aesthetic that characterises the Southbank area. The sleek, slimline profile of our ERHs, together with the muted fabric colour of the Umbrellas and unobtrusive nature of the weather accessories, pairs well with other finishes and complements the eatery’s elegant, tasteful atmosphere. With Celmec’s help, Yarra Botanica has become an idyllic waterfront location that will attract customers all year round.