A family-run Thai restaurant by Maker Studio, and a material-focused design for a Mezcaleria by A-nrd
Words by Toby Maxwell
KIN + DEUM (‘to eat and drink’ in Thai) is the continuation of a family business over 25 years old, after three siblings took over their father’s restaurant Suchard on Crucifix Lane near Tower Bridge, London. The idea of Kin + Deum was to share the dishes that Roselyn, Bank and Shakris Inngern had come to love through growing up in Bangkok. Living above the premises, the siblings wanted to turn the space into an extension of their home, a calm serenity in the hustle and bustle of the city enveloping them – a corner of Bangkok in Bermondsey.
homely touches like hangers and elegant lighting also contributes to that essence of familiarity. Image Credit: LIA VITTONE PHOTOGRAPHY
The design concept was created by Maker Studio, founded by designers Melanie Richardson, Lauren Evans and Leanne Hanson. Richardson said, ‘Kin + Deum’s offer is an authentic Thai family experience. We wanted to reference this by creating a kitchen-style counter and sharing table as the central focus of the restaurant. This forms the heart of the space where you can come in, relax, eat great food and catch up with friends. This was integral to the design because a big element of Thai culture is to come together and share meals.
Homely touches like hangers and elegant lighting also contributes to that essence of familiarity. Image Credit: LIA VITTONE PHOTOGRAPHY
‘The design of the restaurant is formed using a muted, tonal-base palette with accents of rich colour, warm timber, rattan and brass. Colour and texture were introduced through planting and textiles, with large silk canvases subtly referencing the fabric market stalls seen at Chatuchak market [in Bangkok].’
Maker Studio is currently working on Kin + Deum’s sister restaurant located on nearby Tooley Street, which will be opening later this year.
Project KOL London
SPANNING OVER TWO storeys and 400m2 in London’s Seymour Street, KOL’s main dining room is situated past the reception on the ground floor, while the chef’s table experience and the Mezcaleria bar can be found downstairs. The design of the space focuses on bringing to life the spirit of Mexico through materiality, craft and an inherent humility.
A-nrd founder and designer Alessio Nardi was inspired to give KOL its earthy colours and textures after a trip to Mexico
To consolidate the look of KOL – the debut restaurant of former Noma chef Santiago Lastra – A-nrd studio founder Alessio Nardi went on a field trip through Mexico to connect with local businesses and discover the nuances of Mexican culture, with many of his discoveries used to inspire the final design – by Nardi and Lukas Persakovas.
Upon entering KOL, customers are greeted by a large-scale corn husk marquetry artwork by Fernando Laposse, which frames a bespoke hand-chiselled oak reception desk. The interior architecture is inspired by the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragán: where stucco walls of different hues characterise the space, and the colour palette is an ode to the streets of Mexico, alternating between various shades of yellow, pink and burning orange. These contrast with the floor, which is made of concrete slabs framed by a double run of oak planks – an interpretation of the flooring outside Mexico City’s Biblioteca Vasconcelos library.
The stucco walls dovetail sweetly with the reclaimed wooden floors and seagrass lampshades
Three kitchen islands positioned in the centre of the restaurant create a theatrical yet homely focal point in KOL’s dining room. Each oak wood unit is crafted with hand-chiselled counters that extend to the ceiling through reclaimed elm wood canopies. Next to the kitchen islands, the stucco wall splits in height to reveal the fire pit and the comal oven. Clay tiles handmade in the UK clad the whole area, evoking traditional Mexican tezontle volcanic rock tiles.
The tables are a mix of honed silver travertine stone and oak wood that has been hand-planed to add tactility. The stone tabletops give a floating appearance with accentuated interlocking leg details. The oak wood chairs also have the same hand-planed finish and sleek leather upholstery, while the window benches are more sculptural with travertine block bases and a suspended leather backing.
Meanwhile, the dining tables are a unique blend of oak and travertine stone, with similarly hand-planed and bespoke wooden chairs
The descent to the chef’s table and Mezcaleria bar is characterised by a raw steel and oak spiral staircase, accompanied by a faceted glazed screen with hand-blown glass in clear and amber tones. The chef’s table dining room is inspired by modernist Mexican mansions with raw textural materials.
The bespoke tables by A-nrd studio continue the language of interior architecture. Two hand-planed oak planks are merged by a central concrete runner to create a sectional sharing table for up to 22 guests. Four long hexagonal pendant lights with corn husk marquetry shells hang above the central seating area to light up the dining room.
the rusty orange hand-blown glass panes light the steel and oak spiral staircase that leads down to the Mezcaleria bar
The extensive use of natural materials – including reclaimed wood flooring, bespoke caned-booth seating, seagrass lights – add warmth to the space and contrast the monolithic concrete bar with reclaimed oak beam inserts. Both the Mezcaleria and the chef’s table are punctuated by selected artworks, including Mexican folk art and contemporary UK-crafted objects.