by Soda Studio
The Boulevard Theatre and restaurant in London have been designed by SODA Studio to reflect the distinct identity of the surrounding Soho streets and its nightlife. The building is topped by a remade version of the Raymond Revuebar neon sign, and the venue’s distinct aesthetic continues into the look and feel of the interior spaces.
Visitors enter through a gold box office before crossing a dramatic, double-height glass bridge spanning the Walker’s Court alley below and which leads into the restaurant and bar space. This bridge has been inlaid with a lace-patterned design –which recurs throughout the space – referencing the net curtains of the area’s infamous brothels.
The restaurant has an Art Deco-inspired aesthetic, with pink panelled walls and a curving bar with a rippling blue base alongside brass and glass fittings. A rolled-steel feature stair hangs in the glazed corner of the public-facing Berwick Street façade, “signalling the life and activity within the building and linking to the theatre space above,” says SODA Studio. The consultancy also worked on the graphics for the space, and created a 'B' logo that echoes the curve of the cylindrical auditorium with a keyhole shape that “signifies the closed-door secrecy of the area,” says SODA.
The judges said: “Love this space, it feels really fresh and contemporary, but with interesting hints to the history of the area – an excellent example of interior design. There is strong use of colour, with the palette taking subtle references from the original neon sign. It feels predominantly feminine, with the soft, fleshy pinks, but with hints of masculine, in the strong blues/purples. There are also some lovely touches that reflect on the history of the area and neighbourhood, and an overall honest approach in its execution.”
by i29, for Amerborgh
Now used as an arts venue, the Felix Meritis building on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam was built in 1788 for a society of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers.
Studio i29 was commissioned to work on the interior design by investment group Amerborgh, and each room was designed to have its own identity, referencing the five departments it housed during the Enlightenment period: music, commerce, literature, physics and drawing. The building’s complete renovation, led by MATH architects, includes new installations and acoustic facilities according to a plan based on the restoration of the original building contour; with new interventions by i29 looking to bring the more contemporary feel.
The diverse programming meant each room needed to be designed to be fully flexible; so i29 designed a bespoke ‘Felix’ chair in collaboration with Lensvelt that was stackable, comfortable, light and matched the broader interior environment.
by Rockwell Group, for Lightstone
The centrepiece of New York hotel Moxy East Village is Cathédrale, a 300- seat French-Mediterranean restaurant designed to draw on the decadence and raw creativity of the music scene of the 1960s. Diners enter the area using a staircase descending from the lobby that resembles a fire escape between two East Village buildings. The triple-height main dining room space is covered by a dramatic wire mesh sculpture by Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi inspired by the ‘Church of Rock ’n’ Roll’ music venue Fillmore East and its Medieval Revival architecture.
The restaurant includes an open kitchen with copper accents and a bar area with distressed plaster walls and neon signs; while the bar itself “balances posh details with raw concrete and patinated layers, with an angular design that creates flirtatious sightlines,” says Rockwell Group. An outdoor dining terrace with a retractable roof is reminiscent of the improvised backyard gardens tucked behind many East Village restaurants. Finally, private dining space The Poster Room aims to immerse guests in the psychedelic rock era through walls and a ceiling lined with backlit screen prints of vintage concert posters.
by Rockwell Group, for Lightstone
Sited in an underground lounge beneath New York’s Moxy East Village hotel, Little Sister is billed as an intimate late-night bar that’s a “sexier, more sophisticated update of the underground clubs that defined East Village nightlife in the 1990s”.
Rockwell Group’s designs see the unobtrusive stairwell decorated with an abstract spray-painted mural by San Francisco-based artist Apex, which leads guests to the lounge. A playful custom wall places 1970s East Village regulars The Ramones in an otherwise bucolic scene that hints at what the area might have looked like before it became part of a metropolis.
Lighting is provided by locally crafted chandeliers with flickering filament LED bulbs that “conjure a hidden underground chamber where whiskey might have been stored in the bootlegged era,” says Rockwell Group. The wood-clad, barrel-vaulted ceiling also contains strips of colour-changing LEDs which can be activated by the DJ booth late at night. Seating includes plush velvet frame and leather banquettes, jewel-toned velvet sofas and red velvet with embossed leather accents in the VIP area; while the bar is made from stone, mirror and copper cladding.
by Rockwell Group, for Catch Hospitality Group
The design of New York restaurant Catch Steak was inspired by its area – the Meatpacking District – and its industrial past, using black glazed brick tile to wrap the entry façade, an entry tunnel with custom red and white marble houndstooth mosaic tile flooring, and red marble throughout the restaurant’s interior which was selected for its “complex graining pattern”, as architecture and design firm Rockwell Group puts it.
The back bar is inspired by architectural trusses, and uses a sheet of copper metal with marquee lights that wraps up the wall and onto the ceiling, “creating an infinite amber glow”; while the main dining room uses a cream, taupe and brick palette to create a “vintage” feel. Its focal point is a copper grid chandelier with milk glass globes. The private dining area aims to have the feel of a speakeasy “with a surreal, playful twist,” says Rockwell Group, using framed artworks that follow the curve of the ceiling. The focus of the courtyard dining area is a lattice wall filled with green foliage.
Electric Shuffle Canary Wharf
by Ellis Design Studio, for Electric Shuffle
Briefed to create a beautifully designed, conceptual and modern take on the traditional game of shuffleboard; Ellis Design Studio’s work for Electric Shuffle in London’s Canary Wharf took inspiration from one of the pioneers of electrical technology – Nikola Tesla – creating a scheme celebrating the beauty in utility. Interior details merge historical references and Art Deco themes with modern gaming technology; taking shuffleboard tables inspired by the aesthetic of the grand ocean liners of the game’s heyday as the central focus.
The main bar is inspired by the look of power plants, paying homage to 1940s factory aesthetics and early electrical transmission experiments through details such as a central rotating light feature suggesting an electrical turbine. Copper accented fluted timber detailing aims to create the illusion that copper tube wiring might power the venue; while electric blue panelling overlaid with embellished meshes and bespoke bronze domes, in a pattern reminiscent of electrical circuitry, is used in the first-floor bar. Ellis Design Studio also commissioned artisan ceramicists to create oversized decorative domed rivet features and bespoke mid-century inspired lighting for the columns which flank the bar.