SHH redesigns Barbican cafés

Interior design consultancy SHH has led the redesign of two cafés at the Barbican Centre in London, which are set to reopen as the Barbican Foodhall and the Barbican Lounge.

The venues are set to reopen on 14 September, with the ground floor Barbican Foodhall operating as a café and the first floor Barbican Lounge as a restaurant and bar.

SHH has designed the interiors for the two venues, as well as new identities for both and brand collateral including point-of-sale material, menus, bags and cups.

The consultancy worked with furniture designer Stefan Bench, who has created a suite of chairs for the venues; garden designer Kate Gold, who has worked on planting designs for the outdoor space; and lighting design consultancy PSLAB Beirut, which has created lighting designs including racks of lights made from glass olive jars in the Barbican Foodhall.

SHH won the work in January. Lead designer Helen Hughes says the consultancy was appointed by catering company Compass Group, which won a tender to operate the two venues.

Hughes says the aim of the work is ’to bring the restaurants up to the level of the rest of the Barbican’. ’The café had felt like a bit of a forgotten annex,’ she says. ’Compass wanted to make the two venues destination restaurants.’

The project also aimed to reconnect the two spaces with the architecture of the Barbican Centre, with original concrete ceilings exposed and a green resin floor installed in the lounge to reference the colour of the lake outside.

SHH has designed bespoke umbrellas (pictured) for the outside spaces, made from perforated aluminium disks capped with solid Fibreglass. Hughes says these are to indicate to passers-by that the two areas are restaurant spaces.

Hughes says the ’simple’ branding sits in line with the overall Barbican branding. The Foodhall branding uses black-and-white building icons and capital lettering.

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