The client asked Day Studio London to create a welcoming inclusive space which was to the second outpost of their very popular London restaurant Padella in Borough Market. In a modern unreconstructed a double height shell, it was bathed in daylight from imposing windows, with a mood that changes not just through the seasons but almost hourly. The original was so popular they had to be careful not to create anything that suggested a dilution or repetition of the original venue.
The restaurant was built sitting inside the shell, conceived of in four clear sections; open kitchen, window dining, central restaurant and bar. The palette was dictated initially by the expanses of the stainless steel of the open kitchen and the concrete walls and ceiling. From here the task was to find materials to flatter and harmonise with these elements. A design should tread lightly and celebrate the materials where possible. Rather than use more materials to cover up the bones of the building they incorporated the concrete shell into the scheme.
Incorporating the warm tones of classical Italian canteens and sinuous lines of Riva boats, burgundy, mustard, polished brass and marquetry sit elegantly within the raw concrete of this double height shell. All of the materials used are designed to age well and stand the test of time rather than attach the idea of the constant ‘new’. They are designed to last with small pleasing details in craft and material, with the surfaces shifting from matt, to glass, to sparkle, the surface creates a harmonious, sensuous whole.
The scheme was also created to be enjoyable for staff to work in, with great consideration placed on the flow of movement. Having paid her way through art school working in restaurants and bars, the creative director paid close attention to the practical details of service and storage that are important to the team. Day Studio were keen that it should be a enjoyable space to work, as well as dine, in.
The design was worked to manage the light as it moved around the space during the day, (and year) but also to tame the buildings inherent qualities. A double height ceiling may feel bright and energising in the morning but at night needs to be obscured with the careful drawing down of the focus to the tables, bar and open kitchen.
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