Located at a busy retail park in Stevenage, the restaurant was formed by subdividing a large section of a Debenhams store, presented us with some interesting challenges. Firstly, how the internal shopfront would integrate and interact with the retail environment and access for customers. Externally, the challenge was to create a strong presence within the larger Debenhams shopfront.
The design was inspired by the angular forms created within the space by the external architecture of the building, influenced by the monolithic forms in the African landscape which informed how we approached the irregular shape of the site. The wall finishes are simple creating subtle texture by using a shuttered concrete effect counterbalanced with the warm character oak boarding.
The large ceiling rafts represent rock formations and are designed to have a relationship with each other through their shape while the interplay this creates produces something visually unexpected.
The colourful fabric and woven basket lighting and the vibrant artworks were created by artisans in South Africa for this project. The use of bold pattern is also a nod to the brands’ South African origins, integrated into the design through the metalwork screens and flooring, carried into the finer detail through stitch patterns on leather upholstered seating and the use of hand-made wall tiles.