It needed to support and energise the retail that surrounded it. It needed to feel like the beautiful gardener’s cottage at the heart of an urban garden. It needed to deliver fresh, light food with real integrity and impeccable provenance. We knew it needed to be all of these things before it even had a client.
The Hip Group is one of the most able and committed operators in this city. They demanded enormous amenity, three services per day, and exquisite, accessible luxury from this tiny footprint. The accessible bit was important – this was to be a place as welcoming for a grandmother as a glamazon.
We designed the brief together with the client. We sought space that felt at once calm and celebratory. The starting point was the relationship between patron and kitchen. Diners are lined up at ninety degrees to an open kitchen, delivering the greatest possible density of seating.
Almost everything here is bespoke. Only the chairs were purchased, because they seemed to talk to everything we believed in. We worked intensively with craftspeople to understand the nature of their endeavour before producing together elements like the mouth-blown bulbs.
We worked alongside the landlord to direct the entire landscape strategy, so that our little restaurant might nestle into the best possible oasis. We generated window systems that would enable the entirety of each wall to fold upwards into its lane, turning an enclosed shed into an open pavilion. We tried at every turn to make this place feel simultaneously immersed in, and retreated from, the city that surrounds it.
Photographer Jeremy Toth