We’re off to the ‘International Hotel and Property Awards’ in Capri — wish us luck!

We are delighted to discover that The Angel Hotel, in Bury St Edmunds, part of the Gough Hotel Group has been shortlisted for the International Hotel and Property Awards 2019. Gough hotels gave us the brief to ‘modernise the Lounge, Bar and Restaurant and develop a fresh brand identity while being sympathetic to its heritage’.

The hotel has an iconic location within the market town and is famed for its association with writer Charles Dickens, who stayed there three times in the 19th century, referencing the hotel, then a ‘Coaching House’, in his book ‘The Pickwick Papers’.

Taking inspiration from this heritage, and that of is impressive Georgian ivy-clad architecture, supported by further local research, we created a concept underpinned by a brand essence of ‘fables and tales’ — this being the foundation for creative decisions made throughout the process of all brand, graphic touchpoints and interior design, so much so to include the audio experience and menu creation.

It was imperative to modernise the feel and use of the ground-floor space, in particular by integrating the Bar and Restuarant so that it can work as one hybrid area (reflective of today’s guest and hospitality demands), yet retain some of its ‘old charm’.

By using traditional materials, sourcing authentic vintage pieces, and creating bespoke furniture, we have delivered a contemporary solution that has the warmth and soul of “welcome home”, with a sense of tradition and consideration.

The light Oakwood floors were replaced with a custom-made flooring created from five tones of fumed oak, which gives the appearance of an ‘original’ floor, and the bar itself is an antique, Jewellery retail-counter, which elevated further incorporating a bronze bar-top. The redesign of the space allows for a new chapter, without disregarding the story behind a place with such heritage.

Harrison makes key architect appointment in Dubai

Business is booming for us in the Middle East and with it comes the remarkable success story of our Dubai office, which continues to go from strength to strength.

Spurred on by a growing pipeline of one-off and multi-site projects from clients such as Meraas Holding, Al Tayer Group, Gastronomica and Food Fund International, our latest UAE openings include Cocoa Kitchen in City Walk, Eat Greek in Dubai Mall and The Brass in JBR.

With success comes expansion, and this month Harrison is fortunate to welcome experienced licensed architect Joran Lacsao as the newest member of its UAE team.

Joran has consulted on Middle East architectural design projects for over a decade and has worked with multinational hotel brands such as Sheraton, Hilton, Hyatt Regency, Le Meridien and Marriott.  He joins us from the National Engineering Bureau in Dubai.

Welcome to Harrison, Joran!

Posted in UAE

Harrison Expands Middle East Business

Harrison is off to a flying start in 2016 with the expansion of its UAE business, the addition of two new senior designers and a strengthening pipeline of local projects.

Joining the company’s Middle East operation, located in the heart of Dubai’s leisure hospitality district, are Harrison UK bar and restaurant senior designer Kerrie Gray and hotel hospitality designer Jim Rankin, who arrives as Head of Design (UAE).

The duo will be working alongside technical director Warwick Snelling and Harrison design director and UAE head Jon Bentley – both of whom have worked in the UAE for a number of years. They will spearhead new projects from clients such as Meraas Holdings, Al Tayer Group, Meraki, Jumeirah Group and Food Fund International.

Latest Dubai openings for Harrison’s UAE design team include the uniquely quirky Bikes ‘n’ Bites at Boxpark, renowned head chef Neil Witney’s South American-themed restaurant Poco Loco at The Beach on JBR, Food Fund International’s second Eat Greek at the Mall of the Emirates and Jumeirah’s Italian-themed Trattoria Toscana and modern Chinese restaurant Zheng He’s at Souk Madinat and Mina A’Salam respectively.

Projects currently underway include the design and rollout of one of New York City’s most iconic restaurants, Serendipity 3, at Dubai Festival City and City Walk for Al Tayer Group and a third Eat Greek at The Dubai Mall.

Commenting on Harrison’s UAE success and ongoing design investment, Jon Bentley said: “This is a tremendously exciting time for us here in the Middle East as local operators focus increasingly on our international experience with large, multi-unit projects.

“Since establishing a business and a full design team here in Dubai, our workload has more than tripled and is growing well. This is why we are continuing to invest in our talent and our infrastructure.

“Our new team members, Kerrie and Jim, have vast international experience in both multiple and one-off concepts covering late night venues, restaurants and hotel projects.

They will provide our clients with fresh, creative, on-trend designs which will work effectively on an operational level and inspire the ever-maturing Dubai market.”

Harrison hits half century with Pizza Hut Restaurants rebrand

Harrison is the name behind the remarketing of one of the UK’s most established casual dining chains, with over 50 Pizza Hut Restaurants across the UK rebranded since the end of 2013 and a further 23 due to be completed by our team in the next eight months.

This high profile project follows our brand repositioning consultation with Pizza Hut Restaurants back in 2013 and our subsequent repositioning of a restaurant name which has operated in the UK for over four decades and in the USA for almost six.
Trial units showcasing our new designs led to a 40% increase in revenue, and a similar uplift has continued to date.

Lead designer on the rollout, Aoife Kenny Fallon, said: “Our brief is to reposition Pizza Hut Restaurants for future growth in the UK and to devise a set of schemes which are effective, durable, affordable and excite both current and future customers.
“Right from the start, our client has given us a blank canvas to work with, allowing us to challenge everything from their operations right through to their demographics and locations.  They have confidence in us being able to increase sales by upping their investment in the brand and giving equal emphasis to operations and design.”

The result is a reinvigoration of Pizza Hut Restaurants which is highly distinctive in the casual dining sector.  Its increased levels of ‘American spirit’ are given prominence through the introduction of key elements such as a bar and open kitchen, as well as the celebration of US icons such as the salad bar, ice cream, self-serve drinks and pizza buffet.
Finishes are authentic and vibrant, from the red and blue leather seating through to neon light fittings and stand-out artworks.  All echo the relaxed ethos of the American-born brand, creating the crucial point of difference from the Italian-themed competition. The changes also complement the recent refresh of the iconic red roof logo, delivery boxes, cups, menus and employee uniforms.

Aoife Kenny Fallon continued: “The overall feel of the new branding is one of contemporary evolution which meets, and exceeds, customer expectations, and is standing squarely alongside the market leaders. Pizza Hut Restaurants is no longer in that ‘no man’s land’ between high quality pizza restaurants and cut-price competitors.  The brand now has a strong, exciting and unique identity which is reaping rewards for its owners as well as its customers.”