More stories

  • in

    Barbie exhibition aims to show toy is “worthy proposition from a design point of view”

    The Barbie dolls and Dreamhouses featured in Barbie: The Exhibition at London’s Design Museum reflect shifts in visual culture over the famed toy’s 65 years.

    With over 250 objects on display, Barbie: The Exhibition opens today and examines the history of the doll since it was created by Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler in 1959.
    Barbie: The Exhibition opens today at London’s Design MuseumAccording to curator Thom, the exhibition was conceived to unpack the toy’s design influence over the last 65 years and explore the “myriad technical, aesthetic and cultural decisions that go into creating Barbie”.
    “What I would really like visitors to take away from the show, whether they’ve come as Barbie fans or Barbie skeptics but with an interest in design, is that there is actually a very complex and intentional set of design processes that go into creating the dolls and the accessories,” said the curator.
    A first-edition Barbie is included in the collection”And that intentionality does reflect the social context in which any given Barbie is being produced,” she told Dezeen at the Design Museum.

    “I want people to realise that Barbie is a worthy proposition from a design point of view,” she added.
    The show features dolls throughout Barbie’s 65-year historyCreated by architecture firm Sam Jacob Studio, the exhibition design includes iridescent colourful plinths and cylindrical toy packaging-style cases displaying past and present-day Barbies and their accompanying Dreamhouses and accessories.
    Among the collection is a first-edition, hand-painted doll from 1959, positioned next to archival footage of the earliest Barbies being manufactured in Japan. The exhibition also features Christie, the first Black Barbie designed in 1968, and the first Hispanic and Asian Barbie dolls created by Mattel.
    An entire section is dedicated to the evolution of Barbie’s hairThere is a specific section dedicated to the evolution of Barbie’s now 76 hairstyles available in 94 colours, crowned by a bespoke chandelier made of dolls’ hair.
    “In the 90s, I found that a lot of the Black Barbies had straightened hair,” said Thom. “Today, Barbies come with different hair textures.”
    “Obviously, hair play is fun. Children like to brush Barbie’s hair. But there’s more to it than that. How Barbie’s hair is represented is a way in which the importance of her is conveyed to children,” she added.
    The show highlights past and present furniture trendsBarbie dolls from the 2016 Fashionista line are also on display, which were created to include more body types and skin types. Launched last year, the first Barbie doll with Down’s syndrome also features in the show.
    “I think since the Fashionista line redesign, there has been a much more concerted effort to provide as many different visual frames of reference as possible in the doll line so that in theory, every kid can see something of themselves,” said Thom.
    “I’ve found that more recently, there’s that level of attention to cultural details,” added the curator.
    Sam Jacob Studio created the exhibition designElsewhere in the exhibition, a selection of Dreamhouses chart how architecture and furniture trends have influenced the Barbie universe.
    Designed in 1962, the first Barbie Dreamhouse is on display. Created entirely out of cardboard, the single-storey home features mid-century modern furniture similar to the designs of Florence Knoll, the late pioneer of the modern open-plan office.
    The first Barbie Dreamhouse didn’t have a kitchenWith the absence of a kitchen, the first Dreamhouse positioned Barbie as an “independent woman”, argued Thom, created at a time when it was “virtually impossible” for an American woman to gain a mortgage without a male guarantor.
    Visitors can also find the yellow-hued A-frame Dreamhouse from 1978, complete with a pitched roof and angular windows, which recalls the early work of California-based architect Frank Gehry.
    “It was a little avant-garde for its time,” reflected Thom. “The house doesn’t look very Barbie by our contemporary understanding of Barbie – no pink whatsoever – but these moments in Barbie’s design history reflect what was going on in the world of design,” explained the curator.
    Later Dreamhomes reflect more decorative architecture trendsLater architecture trends also feature in the show, with a Dreamhouse from 1995 revealing a return to more traditional American 19th-century motifs including corner turrets and decorative mouldings, with all-pink, “chintzy” sofas placed in the interior.
    “It’s this kind of colonial-style architecture with sash windows, a portico and vines climbing up the side,” explained Thom.

    Kartell recreates pink Philippe Starck-designed chairs to seat both humans and Barbies

    Shifts in fashion over the years are also acknowledged in the show, with various displays documenting Barbie’s many looks. There is a doll with a cropped hairstyle wearing a tiny version of a dress from the late designer Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 Mondrian Collection, while a host of more “everyday” Barbie garments were arranged within a bright pink cabinet.
    Although Thom explained that the exhibition has been in the works for a few years, as opposed to a response to last year’s high-grossing Barbie film directed by Greta Gerwig, the show features a pair of fluffy pink mules and the multicoloured roller-skating look worn by actor Margot Robbie in the movie.
    “We had a fascinating, kind of informal chat with the set designers about their process,” said the curator.
    Select pieces from last year’s Barbie film were also includedShe also explained why the museum sought the exhibition design of Sam Jacob Studio.
    “We wanted to work with Sam because we felt that his aesthetic, which is obviously very pop-inspired, very playful and colourful, would be a great fit for how Barbie has been presented over the years.”
    “Almost all the objects in the show are tiny,” added Thom. “So we wanted to design something that gave her a sense of presence, and almost in some cases monumentality.”
    “We needed to come up with a design that worked with that, but also augmented it,” she explained.
    The show aims to present “Barbie as a reflection of culture””The idea that Barbie is a reflection of culture I find interesting,” considered Thom, who noted the inclusion of various dolls in the exhibition designed with specific “careers” – Barbie has had over 250 of them in her history.
    “Because it does suggest that her meaning, or meanings, are in the eye of the beholder – the eye of the consumer. And I think that’s one of the reasons for her longevity,” continued the curator.
    “I think there can be a tendency to write things off that might be feminine-coded or child-orientated, as being somewhat lesser when it comes to design,” she added.
    “Barbies are toys – they are mass-produced. They are designed first and foremost to be played with. But that doesn’t negate the possibility that they are important objects.”
    The photography is by Jo Underhill.
    Barbie: The Exhibition is on display at the Design Museum from 5 July 2024 to 23 February 2025. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Will Gamble Architects modernises London Victorian house with “soft minimalism” interiors

    UK studio Will Gamble Architects has extended and modernised a Victorian house in south London, using curved shapes and a palette of natural materials to create a calm and minimalist aesthetic.

    The clients – a married couple looking to create their forever home – asked Will Gamble Architects to oversee the transformation of the semi-detached house in Putney into a serene sanctuary.
    Architecture firm Proctor & Shaw initially developed the planning drawings before Gamble’s studio was appointed to develop a cohesive interior design service throughout the home, including technical drawings and revised spatial layouts for the upper floors.
    Will Gamble Architects has extended and modernised a south London Victorian houseTo fufil the clients’ request for increased space, a rear and attic extension was added.
    “We were keen to maximise space and light as much as possible through clever design solutions,” architect Will Gamble told Dezeen.

    “This was particularly relevant over the upper floors where the brief called for four bedrooms and three bathrooms which a conventional layout couldn’t accommodate.”
    Gamble’s “soft minimalism” approach is defined by gentle tonal huesGamble applied an approach he described as “soft minimalism” throughout the interiors, utilising a restrained palette of textural materials to ensure consistency across all floors.
    “Soft minimalism is defined by curved lines, gentle tonal hues, natural materials and carefully curated spaces,” said the architect. “This aesthetic allowed us to deliver a highly bespoke project tailored to our clients’ needs.”
    Muted colours enhancing the “soft minimalism” aesthetic include whites and pinksArched niches, curved walls and a bespoke staircase with semi-circular landings, circular spindles and a turned-oak rail contribute to an aesthetic defined by a gentle geometry.
    Muted colours including warm whites and soft pinks provide a soft and coherent backdrop, while more textured materials including pippy oak and richly veined marble add personality to some of the spaces.

    Emil Eve Architects brightens London house with terracotta tile-clad extensions

    The new staircase was illuminated by an oval roof light that continues the theme of gentle, round forms. The roof light casts natural light deep into the floor plan and is openable to allow stack ventilation to naturally cool the interior.
    Bespoke joinery brings functionality and visual interest to rooms including the main bedroom, where a headboard unit made from pippy oak provides additional storage as well as concealing the en-suite shower room.
    Textured materials like pippy oak and richly veined marble add flare to certain spacesThe bespoke bed and headboard with integrated wardrobes are centrally located within the room to maximise the available space. The en suite contains a pair of marble-clad vanities either side of a walk-in shower.
    Pippy oak was used elsewhere in the house for furniture including bedside tables and built-in storage. The wood’s distinctive knots and knot clusters stand out whilst complementing the other natural materials.
    “The ‘cats paw’ pattern of the pippy oak adds a decadence to the otherwise muted material palette,” Gamble added. “We used this unique material in key areas to help establish a hierarchy across the spaces throughout the project.”
    A pippy oak headboard unit in the main bedroom conceals the en-suite shower roomAs part of the renovation project, the building’s historic fabric was thermally upgraded to reduce energy consumption and create a more comfortable environment. A home automation system was also incorporated that minimises visible light switches and contributes to the uncluttered, minimalist interiors.
    According to Gamble, the owners were interested in “achieving a high-quality finish driven by an acute attention to detail”, which led to a highly bespoke project tailored to their exact requirements.
    Will Gamble established his London-based studio in 2018 after working for architectural practices Farrells and Francis Philips Architects. The office specialises in sensitively retrofitting existing buildings through contemporary architectural interventions.
    The studio’s previous projects include a home built within the ruins of a 17-century parchment factory in Northamptonshire and a glass-walled extension to a Georgian house in Leicestershire.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Archmongers celebrates “raw beauty of brutalist concrete” in Trellick Tower apartment refresh

    Newly exposed concrete walls are paired with a matching terrazzo in this sensitive home renovation by London studio Archmongers in North Kensington’s Trellick Tower.

    Led by architects Margaret Bursa and Johan Hybschmann, Archmongers reworked a duplex apartment on the 23rd and 24th floors of the listed 31-storey tower block.
    Archmongers has renovated a Trellick Tower apartmentThe design stays true to the original layout and materials palette but some small adjustments help to emphasise the building’s brutalist character.
    Bursa and Hybschmann chose to expose the coarse concrete aggregate walls, while new fixtures and surfaces are made from industrial-style materials in complementary tones.
    Materials were chosen complement the newly exposed concreteThe effect is most striking in the kitchen, where the speckled brown and cream terrazzo sits alongside brushed stainless steel counters, white cabinets and matt-black linoleum flooring.

    Archmongers designed the home for a client who divides their time between London, Italy and Switzerland.
    “Our client was looking for a refurbishment which was true to the simplicity and modesty of the original fit-out,” Bursa told Dezeen.
    Matt-black linoleum provides flooringThe aim, she said, was to embrace “the raw beauty of brutalist concrete” and emphasise “the use of honest materials in every intricate detail”.
    “The contemporary update is drawn from the original architecture,” she said.

    Trellick Tower apartment revamped to resemble “cool concrete loft”

    “We exposed the in-situ cast concrete walls in the living spaces and on the stairs, adding material richness to the interiors and linking to the course aggregate concrete of the exterior facade.”
    Completed in 1972, Trellick Tower was designed by Hungarian-British architect Ernö Goldfinger and famously features a separate staircase tower connected to the apartment floors by enclosed bridges.
    A secondary doorway was replaced with an internal window to create extra storageArchmongers made few changes to the apartment layout, which they described as “very efficiently designed”.
    The largest intervention closed up a secondary doorway that previously led through to the kitchen, instead creating an internal window above additional storage and counter space.
    The same material palette features in the living roomAn adjustment was also made on the upper level, where some of the space from the cloakroom was reallocated to make room for an extra shower.
    In bathrooms on both floors, tap and shower fittings sourced from Italian manufacturer Fantini Balocchi provide flashes of bright red and yellow that reference the coloured tiles found throughout Trellick Tower.
    Bathrooms feature white tiles with putty-coloured grout and brown terrazzo”The communal hallways of Trellick Tower each have a different tiled colour theme, which inspired our use of colour,” Bursa explained.
    Warm tones emanate from other surfaces in these rooms, including a terrazzo with the tone of walnut wood and white tiles outlined by putty-coloured grout.
    Tap and shower fittings provide flashes of bright red and yellowThe Trellick apartment is the latest in a series of mid-century renovations that Archmongers has completed and not the first to feature in a famous estate.
    Past projects include reworks of a duplex in the 1950s-built Golden Lane Estate and an apartment in the Barbican, as well as a revamp of a 1960s terrace.
    A new hand-carved walnut handrail was added to the staircaseHere, the building’s Grade II* listing meant that Archmongers was required to retain the original metal lightswitches, even though they couldn’t be certified after the electrics were rewired.
    “There are now two sets of light switches; one new and one original but no longer working,” Bursa said.
    Other sensitive additions include a new hand-carved walnut handrail for the staircase, which runs parallel to the modernist-style metal and timber balustrade.
    The duplex is located on the 23rd and 24th floors of Trellick Tower”Preserving the architectural integrity of the building was paramount,” Bursa added.
    “The Trellick Tower project serves as both an homage to the building’s historical significance and a timeless update that elevates its legacy to new heights.”
    The photography is by French + Tye.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Max Radford Gallery opens London showroom to get people “in front of real objects”

    Max Radford Gallery has opened a permanent space in east London that shows collectible designs from its past shows, including pieces by Carsten in der Elst and Amelia Stevens.

    Located in Hackney Downs, the showroom displays works that the gallery first showed at Belgium’s Collectible design fair, as well as pieces from earlier exhibitions.
    The showroom is located in east LondonBy combining works from different stages of its designers’ careers, the gallery aims to showcase how the artists it works with have developed over the years.
    “It’s a privilege to be able to track a designer’s development and change in their practice across a few pieces in the same space,” founder Max Radford told Dezeen.
    It features pieces by 15 designersThe gallery, which launched in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, focuses on emerging artists. By opening a physical space, it hopes to also help them reach a bigger audience.

    “The Max Radford Gallery seeks to platform emerging creatives who are working in the grayscale between art and design with a London-centric focus,” Radford said.
    “This has always been the particular area that the gallery has been engaged with and stems from a need for physical spaces to see these types of works in London, rather than just on social media – as the only option was when the gallery was beginning.”
    Collectible furniture designs are on display at the galleryAmong the artists showing in the space are In der Elst, whom the gallery had previously included in its Hard Knocks show, and Stevens, who took part in Max Radford Gallery’s exhibition at the Aram Gallery.
    The new space also showcases furniture and accessories by designers Georgia Merritt, Fred Thompson, Grace Prince, Nic Sanderson, Inga Tilda, Eddie Olin, EJR Barnes, Ty Locke, LS Gomma, Natalia Tifantilyi, Andrew Pierce Scott, Louie Isaaman-Jones and Matthew Verdon.

    Aram and Max Radford Gallery showcase emerging designers in Now 4 Then exhibition

    Max Radford Gallery is now located in a minimalist studio, which its founder intends to keep as a paired-back space.
    “The showroom is a beautiful white-painted studio space with just over half of the floor plan having triple height up to skylights, producing beautiful changing light across the day,” Radford said.
    “We haven’t made any architectural changes to the space and are not sure that we will, potentially with the exception of some sort of temporary mezzanine in the triple height space for an exhibition-specific installation,” he added.
    Max Radford Gallery focuses on emerging designersBy opening a permanent gallery, Radford wants to support London’s community of emerging designers.
    “It’s for the community aspect that is introduced by the communal use of creative space; there is a burgeoning community of designers and artists in London with lots of crossovers through universities and workshops that support and raise up its members,” he said.
    “Facilitating a space for communities like this to express and interact seems like a key aspect to supporting what is going on here in London currently,” he added.
    The showroom features pieces from previous exhibitionsHe also hopes that the physical aspect of the space will encourage people to see design pieces in person.
    “It’s as simple as getting people in front of real objects, not just heavily retouched or rendered images of them,” Radford concluded.
    The photography is by Richard Round Turner.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Webb Yates creates structural stone frame for Royal Academy summer exhibition

    A post-tensioned stone frame by engineering firm Webb Yates is among the exhibits in the architecture rooms of this year’s Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition, curated by London studio Assemble.

    Webb Yates worked with The Stonemasonry Company to create a frame made from cored cylinders of waste limestone joined together with tensioned steel rods, aiming to showcase stone as a modern, low-carbon structural material.
    It is one of the many pieces displayed at the annual Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition, which is open until 18 August, and is part of the architecture section curated by Assemble around the theme “spaces for making”.
    A post-tensioned stone frame is on display at the Royal Academy summer exhibition”Webb Yates and The Stonemasonry Company have been advocating a return to stone structure to reduce carbon and pollution,” Webb Yates cofounder Steve Webb told Dezeen.
    “Many people construe this as a suggestion to return to the massive stone structures of the past but we want to reimagine how stone can be used by modern engineers and stone masons.”

    “The pylon demonstrates how post-tensioning slim stone elements can achieve strength and rigidity at a fraction of the carbon cost,” he continued.
    Webb Yates Engineers used steel rods to connect cored limestone cylindersDisplayed in the octagonal central hall at The Royal Academy of Arts, the stone structure is imagined as an alternative to building with steel, Webb explained.
    “Imagine crane masts, bridges or space frames like the Eden Centre and Stadium Australia being formed with stone elements instead of steel,” he said.
    “With a world-saving 75 per cent carbon reduction, inherent durability and fire resistance, we can put waste stone to use and make some really pretty structures.”
    Assemble curated two rooms at the exhibitionThe stone structure is displayed alongside architectural models, material samples, drawings and photographs in the architecture rooms – a regular feature at the annual summer exhibition, which also showcases various mediums of art.
    Other stone pieces in the show included a model of Artefact’s Brick from Stone installation and a column segment designed by Palestinian architects AAU Anastas, which is made up of a bulging piece of stone sandwiched between two stone fragments taken from a demolished building in Bethlehem.
    One gallery is designed as an industrial storage spaceAssemble, which was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2022, arranged the architecture exhibit across two rooms.
    Aiming to reflect the profession’s working processes, the central hall is curated as a studio-like display of works and the adjacent gallery is designed to appear like an architectural storage space, with exhibition pieces displayed on industrial shelving.

    Why aren’t more architects using stone as a building material?

    “We wanted to approach the two rooms slightly differently and show architecture in the space that it’s usually made,” Assemble’s Kaye Song told Dezeen.
    “We’re used to seeing architecture models and drawings presented in such a pristine way but that’s not usually the context you view finished architecture works,” Song added.
    “One gallery we’ve turned into an industrial storage-like space using off-the-shelf products like palette racking and wall-mounted brackets, and the other room has taken an artist’s studio approach.”
    Exhibits are displayed on industrial shelvingHanging from a skylight in the central hall are sheets made of biomaterials by artists Jessie French and Shanelle Ueyama. Surrounding them are mosaic panels by volunteers at the Hackney Mosaic Project and a glass sculpture by designer Yinka Ilori.
    In the adjacent room on the industrial shelving, which will be reused elsewhere after the exhibition closes, is a set of tools by sculptor James Capper, architecture models and casts by architecture studio Stanton Williams and rammed-earth stools by ceramic artist Lyson Marchessault.
    AAU Anastas also contributed stone exhibits to the exhibitionAssemble founding member Maria Lisogorskaya explained that a wide range of designs from different types of makers, not just architects, were chosen to create an engaging exhibition.
    “We wanted to showcase the breadth of the profession with models, tools, material samples and community projects, not just individual projects,” said Lisogorskaya.
    Tools by James Capper are among the other exhibits”There’s a range of people; there’s architects, product designers, structural engineers, fashion designers, musicians, scientists, community organisations,” Lisogorskaya continued.
    “We wanted to have a really broad net of people together under one roof to make for a more dynamic show.”
    Also taking place is the London Festival of Architecture, for which an eclectic range of benches has been installed on the Royal Docks and Unknown Works has constructed The Armadillo pavilion from eucalyptus wood.
    The photography is by Kaye Song.
    The Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition takes place from 18 June to 18 August 2024 at Burlington House in London. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour reveals Wow!house 2024 in exclusive Dezeen video

    Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is hosting the third edition of Wow!house, a purpose-built showhome in London exhibiting works by international designers, as seen in this video produced by Dezeen for the interiors hub.

    Designers were invited to showcase their designs in separate rooms of the house over which they are given complete creative control.
    Wow!house 2024 is held at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour and features 19 rooms by international designersThere are 19 custom rooms in total at Wow!house, including a study by Anahita Rigby and a Zimmer + Rohde bedroom by Tolu Adẹ̀kọ́.
    “It’s about accessing all of these creatives under one roof,” says Claire German, CEO of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour in the exclusive Dezeen video interview.
    The Home Bar was created by OZA Design and draws inspiration from Western and Eastern culturesThe Home Bar was designed by OZA Design with the aim of bringing together Western and Eastern cultures.

    “We wanted the guests to come on a journey… like on the Orient Express,” said OZA Design’s Alexandre Simeray.
    The Zimmer + Rohde Bedroom Suite was designed by Adẹ̀kọ́ & Co. Studio.
    “We want it to take guests away from what would be the normal, expected bedroom and create something quite… unusual,” said the studio’s founder Tolu Adẹ̀kọ́.
    The Zimmer + Rohde Bedroom Suite was created by London-based designer Tolu Adẹ̀kọ́”Exhibiting at Wow!House means a great deal to me personally,” he went on to explain.
    “Being the first British-Nigerian designer selected to work on the space and to show the public what could be done from a small studio based in southeast London.”
    The House of Rohl Primary Bathroom features a painted landscape above a circular bath tubA large circular bath takes centre stage in the House of Rohl Primary Bathroom by Michaelis Boyd, which sits within an alcove with a painted dome on top.
    The Study was designed by Anahita Rigby and fuses Georgian and Japanese design principles.
    The Study at Wow!house features Georgian and Japanese aestheticsRigby mentioned that she was inspired by the objects people bring home from their travels abroad.
    “Falling in love with something on holiday and bringing it home and it’s your new favourite thing you put on your mantelpiece… it’s what interiors are all about,” said Rigby.
    German cites the “incredible” level of detail in each room, noting that the importance of the ceiling continued as a theme throughout the home. “The designers have used it as the fifth wall,” she explained.

    Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour to host WOW!house 2024

    Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has stated that the materials used throughout the home will be repurposed, or returned whenever possible, while rooms such as the Martin Moore kitchen will be re-installed in a new location after the event.
    There will be a programme of events, including tours of WOW!house, open to the public until 4 July 2024.
    WOW!house runs from 4 June to 4 July 2024 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour in London. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
    Partnership content
    This video was produced by Dezeen for the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen’s partnership content here.

    Read more: More

  • in

    Lina Stores South Kensington designed to “evoke the rhythm” of Italian espresso bars

    Interiors studio North End Design has applied the distinctive pistachio green synonymous with London’s popular Italian delicatessen and restaurant chain Lina Stores to the company’s newly opened branch in South Kensington.

    Positioned on the corner of Exhibition Road and Thurloe Square, the South Kensington restaurant is the seventh outpost of the well-known deli, which opened in Soho in 1944.
    The Lina Stores team worked with local studio North End Design to create an interior that balances the chain’s history with its most recent location.
    Lina Stores South Kensington includes the brand’s distinctive pistachio green”For South Kensington specifically, we added a more elevated look to mirror the neighbourhood,” Lina Stores told Dezeen.
    The brand’s “signature” pale green clads the facade, from which the deli’s recognisable stripy awning protrudes.

    Inside, the designers centred the restaurant around an open kitchen counter and coffee bar that wraps one side of the eatery and is topped with dark timber and stainless steel.
    The designers centred the restaurant around an open kitchen counterThis feature was chosen to reference the hustle and bustle found in traditional Roman and Milanese espresso bars.
    “These bars tend to be at the centre of their communities, which is very much how we see our restaurants and delicatessen when we open in a new neighbourhood,” explained the brand.
    Mismatched bentwood chairs provide seatingMismatched bentwood chairs and deep green banquettes were arranged around rectilinear tiled tables to create seating areas across the restaurant, which features a ceiling painted the same distinctive pistachio as the facade.
    Plump, leather-upholstered stools with fat cream-hued piping were also positioned at the bar – the focal point of the eatery where “everything happens”.
    Black and white photography and newspaper cuttings line the wallsThe team dressed the space with steel columns and beams – taking cues from classical Milanese colonnades – and painted them dark green “to evoke the rhythm of the architecture of Milan”, said Lina Stores.
    Chequerboard flooring features throughout the space, finished in a mixture of dark green mosaic and terrazzo tiles.
    Gloss lacquered sapele wall panelling matches the dark timber of the chairsGloss lacquered sapele wall panelling matches the dark timber of the dining chairs, while second-hand Tuscan credenzas and cabinets were sourced as waiter stations.
    “They were included for an elevated, vintage look,” Lina Stores said.
    Chequerboard flooring features throughout the spaceAcross the restaurant’s walls, a selection of vintage Italian black and white photography was combined with framed newspaper cuttings documenting Lina Stores’ history.
    “The collection and positioning of the artwork throughout the space has a spontaneous feel to it, like a wall at an old cafe that’s been added to organically over time,” explained the brand.

    Pirajean Lees draws on Japanese and Spanish design for Kioku restaurant and bar

    North End Design also added “opaline” globe lighting to the eatery, in a nod to the same bulbs illuminating Lina Stores’ original Brewer Street deli.
    “We take an individual approach to each one of our locations so no Lina Stores restaurant and delicatessen looks the same,” said the brand.
    “While all the restaurants are very much inspired by our first delicatessen, we see them as extensions and a way to further develop and bring in different elements of Italian design.”
    Globe lighting nods to the Brewer Street deliArchitecture studio Red Deer designed the first of the Lina Stores restaurants on Greek Street, minutes from the original deli. French designer Olivier Delannoy recently created the interiors for Daroco restaurant located just around the corner.
    The photography is by Adam Firman. 

    Read more: More

  • in

    Pirajean Lees draws on Japanese and Spanish design for Kioku restaurant and bar

    Studio Pirajean Lees paired oxblood tiles with intricate wooden joinery at the Kioku sushi restaurant and sake bar, within central London’s OWO hotel, to reference the head chef ‘s travels.

    Kioku consists of a bar on the ground floor and a restaurant on the top floor of the hotel within the Grade II*-listed Old War Office on Whitehall, which once housed the British government’s military departments.
    Pirajean Lees created Kioku, meaning “memory” in Japanese, to capture sushi master Endo Kazutoshi’s recollections of living and working in Japan and Spain.
    Kioku bar is located on the ground floor of The OWOLocated on the ground floor of the hotel, the single-room bar is accessed via a door framed with smooth timber joinery informed by the traditional Japanese carpentry technique Sashimono.
    Guests are greeted by a bespoke oak reception desk featuring embroidered floral textiles and mesh detailing as well as a light-controlled sake cellar clad with patchwork cork panels.

    All of Kioku’s furniture was custom-made by Pirajean Lees, explained studio co-founder James Lees.
    The bar features a light-controlled sake cellar”We share a passion for storytelling and an obsession with details, from the way your hand touches the backrest of a chair, to the height of the table,” said the designer.
    “From the outset, we knew that the level of attention to detail in the interior had to match that found in the food being served.”
    Japanese records can be played on a bespoke turntableThe bar’s floor plan was subtly stepped to provide “elevated views” for each of its intimate seating areas, rather than relegate guests to hidden corners of the room, said Lees.
    A wide selection of sake is served at an oversized and curved central bar designed with knobbly timber cladding.
    Kioku restaurant is located on the hotel’s rooftopHandcrafted tiles and a gridded carpet finished in oxblood red were used to create the flooring, while deep red dado and natural clay walls also nod to the space’s Spanish influence.
    In one corner, a bespoke turntable is positioned for guests to play a selection of Japanese records from Endo’s personal collection.
    Bow details were carved into the dining chairsThe Kioku restaurant is contained within a long room on the north side of the hotel’s rooftop, with panoramic views of central London. Entered through timber double doors, the eatery features similar design accents to the bar.
    Wooden frames and boxy mirrored “portals” were used to delineate spaces within the main dining area, which includes L-shaped banquettes and oak dining chairs upholstered with Japanese embroidered silk.
    The chef’s table was positioned opposite the open kitchenBow details were carved into the chairs to emulate the seating at Endo’s favourite hotel in the city of Yokohama. Subtle versions of the bow motif are echoed downstairs on the bar’s wooden tables.
    Pirajean Lees constructed a private dining room with a chef’s table at one end of the restaurant, built above an intimate outdoor cigar terrace that overlooks The OWO’s central courtyard.
    Panoramic views of central London can be seen from the main terraceEncased by a curved glass roof, the extension was positioned opposite the open kitchen to allow guests to watch their dishes being prepared. Retractable mesh screens were also fitted for privacy.
    The main terrace includes timber dining tables and chairs with Mediterranean-style terracotta and mustard upholstery surrounded by lush plants.

    Pirajean Lees channels 1920s Japan in ornate Dubai restaurant interior

    At the end of the terrace, a historic turret overlooking St James’ Park and Horse Guards Parade features another eight-seat private dining room with soft linen curtains and an oak table illuminated by an oversized rice paper pendant light.
    Pirajean Lees chose a striking yellow rug for the circular floor to reference the sun, while the round ceiling was hand-painted with an inky indigo mural by British artist Tess Newall in an ode to the contrasting moon – recognisable motifs found in Japanese mythology.
    A historic turret houses another private dining space”We design to create emotional spaces grounded in their story, rather than interiors purely driven by aesthetics,” reflected studio co-founder Clémence Pirajean.
    Founded in 2017 by Pirajean and Lees, the studio has applied its eclectic style to various other London projects – from the “timeless” interiors of music venue Koko’s members’ club to a Mayfair restaurant with an Arts and Crafts-style design.
    The photography is by Polly Tootal.

    Read more: More