Interior Inspiration: Design Week’s favourite interior projects

This month’s selection includes a biophilic retail design for an impact-conscious menswear brand and a lighting installation influenced by cathedral architecture.

Young’s & Co.’s Hort’s Townhouse, by Harrison

A sports bar in Bristol has been transformed into a cocktail bar and hotel, designed by Harrison to draw on the Grade II listed building’s Art Deco heritage. Harrison’s research revealed that the space had been a cocktail bar in the 1920s, a decade which informed the core design principles, particularly for the ground floor.

From Deco-inspired artwork and mirrors to leather booths and panelling, the main dining area incorporates a variety of quintessential Art Deco features. A decadent chandelier is suspended from the centre of the ceiling, while vintage lamps provide soft lighting in more intimate spaces.

Wall lights, pendants and floor lamps light up the vintage tile flooring and textured terracotta ceilings. Arched mirrors positioned to reflect the long wood counter of the bar seek to “bring motion to aerodynamic curves”, creating “a feeling of grandeur and excess”, according to Harrison.

The first and second floors are filled with 19 hotel bedrooms, each different in size and shape. The bedrooms are uniquely designed to work with the space available, with concealed furnishings to avoid the rooms feeling too cluttered.

Cozinha das Flores and Flôr, by Space Copenhagen

Photo credit: Joachim Wichmann

Danish design studio Space Copenhagen has completed the interiors for the new Cozinha das Flores restaurant and Flôr bar in Porto, Portugal. Located on the historic Largo de São Domingos, the hospitality venues are housed by several interconnected 17th Century buildings which the studio restored to reveal their original features.

The selection of colour, material and texture, as well as in furniture, tableware, decorative elements and art were chosen to spotlight local traditions and heritage and  complement the culinary offering. Using local materials and products from nearby regions in Portugal, such as stone, wood, metal and tiling, the studio foregrounded earthy warm tones in the restaurant. Aged stone and dark tarnished wood were already present in the building, while the plastered walls and accent metal finishes such as blackened steel and darkened brass were added by Space Copenhagen.

Handcrafted custom oak dining tables fill the dining room, paired with contrasting Carl Hansen CH 26 Wegner chairs and pendant lights by Ochre but the open kitchen, built around a fireplace, is the centrepiece of the room. The restaurant also features a built-in wine cabinet made from dark oak and blackened steel, filling the entire back wall.

Space Copenhagen designed Flôr bar to be reminiscent of a late 19th century, gaslight bar. The custom-made stone top horseshoe bar is surrounded by high stools by Space Copenhagen for Mater and Loafer stools by &Tradition. The light above the bar aims to provide “a geometric element of the spatial composition”, says the studio.

The highlight of the space is the large-scale glass screen commissioned from Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, which was created to fill the stone archway framing the bar counter. The screen diffuses light into the space and has illuminative qualities, “reminiscent of the Porto light at dusk and dawn”, the studio adds.

Lestrange, by Fred Rigby Studio

Photo credit: Felix Speller

Fred Rigby Studio followed regenerative, biophilic design principles and committed to using natural textures and repurposed materials to create the interiors for impact-conscious menswear brand Lestrange. The studio’s founders worked with biophilic design specialist Oliver Heath to help design the blueprint for the space, with a focus on instilling comfort and tranquillity into the retail experience.

The Meadow – a garden of specially curated plant life – sits in the heart of the space, conceived by garden designer Lottie Delamain. The dried blooms and grasses were chosen for their links to the fibre and flax used in the clothing material.

Repurposed felled wood has been given a second life through bespoke furnishing and partitions throughout the space. It also forms the body of the cash desk, which is topped with a recycled yoghurt pot surface by Smile Plastics.

Described as being “one of the most sustainable plasters on the market” by the studio, the wall plaster comprises a mix of unfired clays, minerals and pigments by Cornwall based brand Clayworks. Japanese design elements also come into play in the space through delicate paper lampshades placed to appear as if they’re floating around the store.

San Carlo Liverpool, by Fettle

Taking inspiration from Grand Milanese villas and gardens and the architecture of Piero Portaluppi, Fettle has redesigned the interiors for Italian restaurant San Carlo in the centre of Liverpool. The space comprises the main dining space, a feature bar and The Rosa Room & Wine Cellar for private dining.

A material palette of marble, high gloss timber and brass detailing runs through San Carlo, which Fettle looked to soften with layered mohair, leather and patterned fabric upholstery. Bespoke furniture was designed specifically for the space, including marble and timber tables, fluted oak bar stools with brass bases and green leather seats, curve-legged dining chairs and burnt orange leather and velvet banquette seating.

A mixture of bespoke statement chandeliers, pendant fittings, wall lights and table lamps, seek to bring subtle light into the bar and restaurant. Tones of green, orange and cream make up the terrazzo floor, while walls clad with high gloss timber panelling evoke a similar style to that seen in the water taxis of Venice or luxury Italian sports cars.

Polish Brass frame detailing decorate antiqued mirrored panels, chosen to add “glamour and sophisticated ambience” to the restaurant, says Fettle. The neutral tones are complimented by a bold coral coloured ceiling, which was also designed to ensure a soft acoustic to the space.

Cathédrale restaurant, by Willowlamp

Led by founder and creative director Adam Hoets, South African bespoke lighting design company Willowlamp was commissioned by the Rockwell Group to create two theatrical lighting installations for Las Vegas restaurant Cathédrale. The brief asked Willowlamp to interpret and reimagine design features of the flagship restaurant in New York, particularly the wire-mesh ceiling installation created by Italian artist Eduardo Tresoldi.

Inspiration for the design of the flagship came from the 1920s Yiddish theatre the Fillmore East, which later became a concert hall dubbed ‘the Church of Rock and Roll’, hosting acts such as Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

Hoets says he studied “the geometries, references and motifs used in the design of cathedrals” to develop “the perfect architectonic language and framework” for the design. The result is that visitors should feel as if they are immersed in “an abstract construct of a cathedral”, he adds.

The theatrical light installation is visible upon entry to restaurant’s dining room, where the first of the two beaded chain canopies hang. It is made of 40 kilometres of chain and weighs almost 3000 kilograms. The second installation is suspended above the bar, featuring 22,000 chains.

Hoets describes how the installations have “a powerful presence that [is] transportive through [their] magical realism”.

Maene, by Fare Inc.

Photo credit: Rebecca Dickson

Located in East London’s Fashion Street, Maene is set atop a 1300 square metre Victorian warehouse and takes interior design cues from New York warehouse aesthetics. The dining space is divided into distinct areas, including an open kitchen with counter seating, a terrace and a large 18-seater dining table as well as a cocktail lounge and more intimate banquettes.

The design by Fare Inc. aims for an understated aesthetic built around contrasts, where natural textures are set against raw materials. For example, ash wood sits against a polished concrete bar, with added zinc and brass finishes.

Fare Inc.’s goal was to open up the space, which it sought to achieve through enhancing light from the wrap-around windows. The studio retained the original wooden floor to showcase the historic nature of the building.

Cobalt blue accents the space in the form of rounded seating booths and table décor, with wooden finishes and industrial elements which aim to create a modern, relaxed dining space. Blue also features in the bathrooms with Yves Klein International Blue wallpaper.

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