The London based architectural practice SHH realised, in cooperation with furniture designer Stefan Bench, lighting designers .PSLAB and garden designer Kate Gould, two new restaurant spaces within Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue, the Barbican Centre in London.
“Our overall approach’, explained Helen Hughes, ‘was to link the spaces back to the wonderful architecture of the Barbican itself and to celebrate the building’s materiality by exposing the original concrete ceilings, de‐cladding the hammered aggregrate walls in the Barbican Lounge space and using Cradley brick pavers for the Foodhall flooring, which not only brought the flooring back in line with the original treatment, but linked it to all the existing external Barbican walkways.”
“Our second major direction was to create visual connections between the two offers, particularly via the outdoor terraces, which extend from each space. This was achieved partly through planting, but mostly by the design of huge, eye‐catching and bespoke‐designed umbrellas or ‘urban trees’, made of two off‐centre perforated aluminium disks, with the bottom disk measuring 3m in width, set into wooden bases, which house both planting and integrated seating.”
“Finally, we sought to animate the spaces with striking feature areas, details and materials, including a peacock‐green resin floor in the Lounge, especially colour‐matched to a photo taken in the Summer of the green water of the Barbican outdoor lake, plus great lighting and an unusual mix of furniture including new, bespoke, vintage and specially‐reissued items.”
“We’re really excited about the transformation of our food offering” added Sir Nicholas Kenyon, MD of the Barbican Centre. “The spaces have been stripped right back to the original wall textures and fittings, so it really feels like a natural and organic development of our iconic centre. We’re confident regular visitors to the centre will enjoy the new experience and that this transformation will also help to introduce new people to the area.”