Location: Westminster, London, UK
Photographs: Courtesy of SHH
From the architect. SHH’s redesigns of the Barbican’s restaurants have won three major design awards in the space of just two weeks. Barbican Foodhall the new ground floor restaurant and deli and Barbican Lounge the first floor bar and restaurant were both named as winners in at the 2011 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, held last week at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, whilst the Barbican Lounge won a further award at the end of June in Monte Carlo at the 2011 International Hotel & Property Awards.
Helen Hughes, SHH’s Lead Designer on the project, commented, “It was a huge opportunity to work on the iconic feat of architecture that the Barbican represents. We wanted was to do justice to it and we’re really happy that our design treatment has been so well received by our peers.” At the 2011 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, Barbican Lounge won the ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ Award and Barbican Foodhall the ‘Best Restaurant, Bar or Club in Another Space’ Award.
Competition was tough, with the SHH schemes beating entries from some of London’s biggest name agencies. The international judging panel included Karim Rashid, top restaurant critic Fay Maschler; editors from Frame, Conde Nast Traveller, Yatzer and Monocle; Ian Callum of Jaguar Cars and Ravi Naidoo of Design Indaba. At the 2011 International Hotel & Property Awards, held in Monte Carlo, SHH won the ‘Best Bar/Club/Lounge’ Award for Barbican Lounge. Barbican Foodhall was also shortlisted at the same awards.
SHH created new interiors for the spaces in Autumn 2010, with a brief to bring the food and beverage offer at the world-famous Barbican Centre up to the same standard as its arts and performance offer, as well as creating destination venues in their own right. SHH’s design approach, which fused a respect for the wonderful original architecture of the iconic buildings (including stripping back and revealing concrete ceilings and hammered aggregate walls) with bold new design interventions, such as the stacked olive-jar lighting (by PSLAB) in the Foodhall and the peacock-blue poured resin floor in the Lounge.
The projects also celebrated the importance of great furniture, with SHH’s lead designer Helen Hughes working with furniture designer Stefan Bench to create three bespoke new seats for the two spaces, sitting alongside hand-picked reclaimed vintage seating, reissued vintage classics and, for the first floor terrace space, Robin Day polo chairs, in a nod to the Barbican’s original art director.
The two spaces are linked by their outdoor terraces, which feature bespoke and striking ‘urban tree’ umbrellas, designed by Helen Hughes, together with planting by Chelsea Flower Show double-gold medallist garden designer Kate Gould. Nick Rudlin, Director of Operations of the Barbican Foodhall and Lounge said, “This recognition is testament to the hard work and commitment of the designers, architects and the teams working at both the Foodhall and Lounge and we are thrilled to have won three great accolades.”