B3 Designers commissioned by client to design ‘Canto Corvino’ restaurant after previous projects display exceptional intricacy in attention to detail and design.
How were you commissioned?:
We were contacted by our client, the team behind Manicomio restaurants, while they were in the very initial planning stages of the restaurant concept. They had heard of us after visiting several of our London-based restaurant projects. They felt we had an attention to detail in our design work, which they wanted to capture in the design of this restaurant.
What was the brief from the client and how much were they involved?:
We would say they were quite involved. We believe it's important to work in partnership with our clients to ensure their vision comes through to the end project. The client wanted this site to be different to their two existing restaurants, Manicomio Chelsea and Manicomio City, but still be identifiable as a sister restaurant. They wanted this restaurant to have a greater focus on the restaurant space and bar, omitting the 'deli' offer present in the other restaurants completely. Great emphasis was put on the importance of an independent feature bar area, which would draw patrons in and developing zones with different styles of seating throughout, to get a sense of zoning as you move through the space.
How did the brief affect the materials and design choices?:
We worked with the client to develop the brief and decided on a 'trade and craft' direction. This was really appropriate with the Italian food offer and we worked to reflect it in the material selection, opting to bring in varieties of different wood, metals, stones and tiles.
How did your previous experience help you with this project?:
We have been working on an increasing number of open/show kitchens within restaurants and each new design teaches us a little more about the versatility of this feature, one of the reasons we believe this is on the rise. We've been designing restaurants for 13 years and as such, were quite prepared to take on such an exciting restaurant project.
Can you explain the layout of the project:
When entering the restaurant, diners are met with the main dining area to their left and the bar to their right. The main restaurant dining area features a commanding show kitchen with cut stone tiles to create a bold triangular pattern to the front, allowing diners to view the chefs at work in the kitchen. The seating options in the dining area include stained oak top tables with brushed brass trims and base and a banquette with a unique and elegant cross-stitch pattern to the rear of the space. The Bar is rich with the fabric factory theme with its machine like blackened steel over bar that houses both wine bottles and glasses. The bar frontage is a reclaimed distressed timber with false draw frontages, this is a salute to the vast oak cabinets in factories old where threads, needles and other trinkets would have been kept. The Flooring in the bar area is an arrangement of cross-sawn dark oak boarding juxtaposed against a square mosaic tile pattern surrounding the bar. The staircase down to the to PDR is a striking feature marrying the ground floor and the basement. The screen incorporates a blackened steel frame with decorative mottled glass which sits between panels of toughened glass in a glittering pattern. The PDR has a wine cellar that runs the length of the wall with large heavy looking L-angle steel doors running on a ceiling track with a barn door like runner.
What problems or challenges did you face?:
The most challenging aspect of the project was that the site was previously an office space. The work involved in making this space a workable and accessible restaurant was quite demanding. These challenges arose mostly during planning and project management, but creatively this project was quite seamless.
What do you feel were the most unusual design elements of the project?:
The original, industrial elements that we opened up on the site. We stripped back and utilised the existing rough brickwork and steel columns. In addition the old drainage pipes have been left in place as a skeletal reminder of the building's history. Spitafields has been an established trading neighbourhood since 1638 and the warehouse look and feel reflect that industrial era. The crafting details are a tribute to the intricate Italian craftsmanship - making of silk and fabrics - the design evoking a timeless yet understated luxury.
How do you think this project is pushing design forward? What makes it special?:
What we love about this project is the relationship between interior identity and graphic identity. We approached the project as one identity and our interior and branding team worked closely together bringing elements from one discipline into the other. The branding team considered the colour, texture and materials of the interior incorporating elements into their designs, while the interior team considered the story and charismas of the branding design incorporating it into the small details and artwork within the space. We believe this attention to detail and holistic identity enriches the customer experience, with so much emphasis on customer experience lately, restaurateurs really see the value in this approach.
QSF were the main contractors for Canto Corvino, but they subcontracted the bar to Benchmark https://www.benchmarkfurniture.com/. The flooring contact is Lesley Bowling [email protected] Other suppliers on the project include: Bookbinders (branding) http://www.mjgroup.co.uk/ Lazercutting (tab tags) (Branding) http://www.fabberz.com [email protected] [email protected]