Our brief for the ground floor was to create two spaces, the first Custard which was to be an informal bakery offering Indian pastries and coffee. The second Gunpowder was to be the main dining area which would continue to the upstairs mezzanine.
We wanted to create a space that reflected traditional materials and a colour palettes of India without in anyway creating a themed concept, or recreating what is already happening with other Indian restaurant trends at the moment. Part of the space is a bakery by day and transitions to a restaurant in the evening so each area needed its own identity but still had to feel like a cohesive space. This was achieved through a creative selection of materials, colour and texture. Through the use of polished terrazzo floors, raw blackened steel, concrete and bespoke custom designed tiles the design is a contemporary interpretation of India that reflects the warmth of traditional design without recreating it. Texture and layers play an important role within the space. By mismatching the reclaimed antique English marble fireplace pieces in both size and depth we were able to create a unique textured wall brining warmth to the bakery. The bush hammered concrete of the front face of bakery counter contrasts with the polished black concrete top and gives the bakery a distinctly different feel to the more raw feeling of Gunpowder. The bush hammered concrete counter is also a nod to the iconic brutalist architecture that already sites along the Southbank. The bakery is bright and more informal with high bar seating and share tables. We wanted to create a flexible divide. The solution was to create a bespoke cloak cupboard and newspaper rail that floats between the structural columns. The design allows for visibility through the space with the ability to separate the bakery from Gunpowder during the day. Gunpowder is characterised by raw steel, polished concrete, marble and zinc. Latticed rebar forms the front face of the bar creating texture and depth which contrasts with the teak wood and reeded glass panels of the booths. Zinc and wooden table tops soften the space while the steel and polished concrete stairs visually link the two floors. Blackened steel poles create a corridor to the first floor and carry along the setback mezzanine. The visibility to the ground floor and outside allows diners on the mezzanine to feel part of the overall experience. On the mezzanine the material palette continues with bespoke rebar wine displays and specially commissioned love-seats offset by marble tables. An open pass allows diners to see the theatre of the kitchen and adds to the atmosphere and hustle and bustle of the multi-functional space. Recognition Gold Winner – Muse Design Awards 2020 Shortlisted – Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2019