Glasgow-based Zoo Architects is nothing if not eclectic. Open to most challenges, it designs furniture, interiors, buildings, landscapes and even boats. ‘We’re architects who’ll do anything within reason. We don’t draw a line between architecture and interior design,’ says Peter Richards, an English architect who set up Zoo four years ago. Graven Images apart, there aren’t that many Scottish design groups with well-developed interior capabilities. Zoo is one of many architectural consultancies which steps into the gap by taking on interiors work. It has had some notable recent successes: for the Republic Bierhalle on Glasgow’s Gordon Street, it combined concrete finishes with huge chunks of Douglas Fir and leather cushions in an attempt to define a modern bierkeller aesthetic. For Oko – billed as the first conveyor-belt sushi bar in Scotland – it went for what Richards describes as ‘1970s Scandinavia meets traditional Japan’ using simple timber furniture. These will be followed by the completion of several arts projects, including the Tramway performance venue in Glasgow, one of several Scottish Arts Council Lottery-funded projects. Zoo hopes to further develop its education, leisure and arts projects, positioning itself as a European rather than purely a Scottish consultancy.
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