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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Dabbous in London, England by Brinkworth

July 25th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Brinkworth

Briefed to create a brand identity and interior for Dabbous, a new restaurant situated on a corner site on Whitfield street, London, Brinkworth took inspiration from the minimal and natural presentation of the food to create a raw, industrial space and a contemporary, restrained brand identity.

Overall view of dining space on the ground floor, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

  • Architects: Brinkworth
  • Project: Dabbous
  • Location: London, England
  • Photography: Louise Melchior
  • Completion date: January 2012
  • Construction period: 8 weeks

A metal mesh screen obscures the bar traffic from the dining space, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

Working from a shell site, Brinkworth used materials with authenticity – steel, reeded glass; concrete and wire mesh – to define the architecture of the space. This bare-boned approach allows the space to grow and accumulate as the restaurant evolves. Brinkworth-designed furniture – waxed, timber tables, timber and black leather chairs are coupled with walls lined in burnt timber.  An eclectic selection of light fixtures, including bespoke, coloured blown glass, contrast with and soften the otherwise almost brutal material palette.

View from entrance – opaque screen at rear allow dinners to sense the movements of the chefs in the kitchen, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

A metal mesh screen separates the route to the bar from the dining space and discreetly hides the bar traffic. The same device is used to contain coat and bag storage that allows diners to mind their belongings while creating an acoustic buffer. The metal mesh is also used behind the waiter station and at the wine store.The kitchen remains part of the room, cleverly screened by reeded glass allowing diners to sense the motion of the chef and his team.

View from entrance, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

The client had requested that the space was to be kept sparse and wanted to avoid decorative wall pieces, instead, Brinkworth designed a free-standing floor to ceiling metal framework which gives a sense of division while at the perimeter of the space frames the wall behind, drawing attention to the purposely raw wall finishes.

Dinners can hang their coats within the metal mesh screen dividing the dinning space and the staircase – the coats become an acoustic buffer at busy times, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

A jewel like cluster of blown,clear glass, tiered light fittings highlight the steel mesh back drop and timber staircase to the lower ground floor creating an immediately recognisable route to the bar area.To further increase prominence, the staircase has been turned through 90 degrees to ensure an instant view of the concrete bar on decent.

Hand blown glass lights, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

The large windows of the corner site, floods the space with light in the daytime while at night, the widows reflect the sparkly effect of the blown glass lights.

The bar is kept raw and minimal. Brinkworth-designed, timber and steel benches and large tables predominate with high seating at the bar.Leather and steel armchairs and banquette accentuate the snug under the stairs.

Blown light fittings contrasts with the raw metal screen on decent to the basement bar, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

Above the door, the word Dabbous is picked out in simple typography, a logo developed by Brinkworth, who also did all the branding including business cards, menu and menu holders. The menu has been designed to ensure it can be easily and inexpensively evolved in-house and consists of a branded timber on timber clipboard coupled with soft grey paper. A Brinkworth-designed rubber stamp ensures that the logo can be applied to any printed menu and quickly and elegantly brands the paper.

The raw material palette of the bar area echoes the dining space above, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

Karen Byford, associate director at Brinkworth says: “Ollie Dabbous is a very talented young chef with a strong vision, it was a pleasure to help Ollie create the space which is to house his dream.”

Olli Dabbous commented: “I had a very clear vision of how I wanted the site to look. Brinkworth clearly understood this, listened and suggested as opposed to imposed, and worked closely alongside the contractors to deliver a finished product far superior than I considered achievable on our budget.”

View of bar, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

Brinkworth is one of the UK’s leading creative retail design agencies, specialising in creative brand strategy and interior, graphic, architectural and environmental design. Established by Adam Brinkworth in 1990 the company has been responsible for the commercial success of many premier global fashion and retail brands, and for launching many of the high street’s most contemporary store designs, both within the UK and internationally.

Clients include Ben Sherman, Supreme, LBi, Dinos Chapman, Hugo Boss, Mary Portas, Converse, Karen Millen, Heineken, Tinello, Foot Patrol, Nike, All Saints and Casio.

Overall view of the basement bar area, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

The entrance to the bar from the dining space above, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

During the day the corner site floods the restaurant with light, while at night the large windows reflect the sparkly effectof the hand blown lights, Image Courtesy © Louise Melchior

Image Courtesy © Brinkworth

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