Interior Life: Caroline Choker and Vince Alafaci, Acme & Co
This interior design/architect duo is behind some of Sydney’s most beautiful spaces, including Fred’s, The Grounds and Babetta. Their latest project is Potts Point co-working space, Example House.
Caroline and Vince, how do you describe your design aesthetic?
Caroline and Vince: Our approach isn't based on design aesthetics. It is a continually evolving process that responds to a detailed analysis of the environment, site and the client's brief.
When did you decide to open your design studio, and what were the key aims of starting your own practice?
Caroline and Vince: Our practice formed organically in 2013 from an interior/architecture project collaboration. The vision was to create holistic design solutions resulting in patrons being immersed in sensory experiences.
What has been your favourite venue to design, and why?
Caroline and Vince: We find it impossible to label any particular project as a favourite. Each of our projects has been a fundamental part of the Acme DNA, although the most celebrated projects to date are The Grounds of Alexandria and The City, Archie Rose Distilling Co., Merivale's Fred’s and Charlie Parker’s ,and Barbetta.
How did you come up with the name, Acme?
Caroline and Vince: As Acme is a collaboration between our design studio and clients, we thought of an acronym that best surmises this. So, Acme comes from our surnames, Alafaci and Choker, and then landing on the ME to represent the client. Acme is defined as the point at which someone or something is best, perfect or most successful.
You are currently working on an Example House, a new co-working space for hospitality creatives by the Example brand-experience studio. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Caroline and Vince: Example House transforms an existing industrial space into a creative hub. Analysis of Example’s identity, culture and process has delivered an innovative platform where the program has been blurred into social, creative, work and entertainment zones. The result is a dynamic environment which departs from the traditional workspace … and places it within the realm of the hospitality industry.
Is sustainability important to you, and do you factor this into your projects?
Caroline and Vince: Sustainability is a fundamental pillar of our practice. It is imperative as designers that we create spaces that respond to a site, respect and protect its place, create occupant comfort, and overall have longevity to reduce the impact on our environment.
Tell us one thing that has inspired you lately?
Caroline and Vince: Travel! Our recent European trip was filled with great friends, food, drink, sun, beaches, culture, music, art and life.
What are some designs themes that you have spotted recently?
Caroline and Vince: Relaxed luxe, paired-back sophistication combining a warm, natural tonal palette.
Where is your favourite place to grab a drink in the Eastern Suburbs?
Caroline and Vince: Charlie Parker’s and we aren’t being biased, haha!