Tom Dixon designs new restaurant for Royal Academy

Tom Dixon has led the team at Design Research Studio to design the new restaurant for the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Design Research Studio was appointed last summer after restaurateur Oliver Peyton of Peyton and Byrne asked it to pitch alongside him.

The design of the interiors references the history of the Royal Academy, using materials that complement the building, such as marble, brass and velvet.

The space is divided into different ‘zones’, each inspired by the work of a different figure integral to the history of the Royal Academy, including the artist JMW Turner and the architect Sir John Soane.

Peyton, Dixon and Royal Academy chief executive Charles Saumarez Smith have selected artwork from the Royal Academy’s permanent collection to complement the design.

Design Research Studio has created a free-standing unit of glass cubes displaying a selection of sculptures and busts dating back to 1897 as the focal point of the space.

It has also created a new bar from Mount Etna lava stone and hand-made glazed brick, as well as fitting a chandelier and digitally etched brass pendant lights.

’In the basement there’s a huge stash of fabulous sculpture,’ says Dixon. ’I didn’t want to decorate too much.’

He adds, ’It’s a busy floor – there’s a lot of wood panelling and several murals. Our intervention had to be a fairly light touch and very respectful.’

The restaurant will open on 18 January.

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