Blueness, by Space Copenhagen
In the heart of Antwerp’s fashion district, the ground floor of a 17th Century renaissance building is now home to Blueness. The new restaurant attempts to merge classical interior architecture with modern Scandinavian design.
Conveying “a journey through time” was a key focus for Danish design studio Space Copenhagen, which is why much of the building’s original detailing is still visible. Tall ceiling arches held up by columns and elaborate metal detailing on the windows are paired with decorative marble and sandstone materials – tell-tale signs of renaissance architecture. The studio also opted to give the space a sense of duality by creating two distinct ambiences.
Central to one area is a handmade, walnut wood bar with a curved, deep red base and brushed steel counter tops. From the dark oak, high spine barstools, guests looking for a more spirited experience can enjoy a view of the open kitchen.
On the other side of the restaurant, natural wood tones and fusions of stone, brass and linen make up the furniture of the more subdued, and intentionally “melancholic”, dining area, according to Space Copenhagen. At the centre of the room is a bespoke cast brass chandelier by artist Valentin Loellmann. Its arms descend from the ceiling, expanding into four brass plates which are designed to hold the candles that light up the room with a warm glow at night.
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Shakespeare and Company, by Takagicaperan
Shakespeare and Company, a famous English language antique bookshop in Paris, appointed London-based studio Takagicaperan to design the interior of its new art book room. While the studio was tasked with creating a new design for the room, its adjacency to the main library meant that it also needed to be in keeping with the rest of the store.
After restoring the original stone masonry of the 17th century building, Takagicaperan created new mosaic marble flooring which incorporates brass inserts. A mezzanine has been designed to take advantage of the height of the space, and also create a small nook in the corner, which resident writers are encouraged to use.
Adorning each wall are bespoke bookcases which aim to create a functional rhythm in the room. Customers are encouraged to take a seat on an angled teal reading couch, opposite the writing nook, after browsing the selection.
V&A Cromwell Road Entrance, by Sam Jacob Studio
Sam Jacob Studio was commissioned to redesign the entrance lobby, information desk, and WCs at V&A. Taking inspiration from the museum’s glass collection four floors above the entrance, the studio created the new entrance lobby with three bands of glass tubes, which shorten in diameter for the mid and upper levels.
Designed to transmit light, the entrance is meant to produce optical distortions as people pass through it, accentuating their movements. It also serves to project daylight into the museum.
Taking cue from the entrance lobby, the welcome desk in the centre of the Dome is also features glass tubes backed by mirrored panels – a continuation of the optical illusion theme. According to Sam Jacob Studio, the design lends itself well to the livelier events in the lobby, when the desk can be converted into a bar. Meanwhile, coloured disco lights reflect through the glass.
By repurposing 700kgs of blue, pink, black and grey ceramic waste from Wedgwood’s factory in Stoke, Sam Jacob Studio created terrazzo wall panels for the WCs. Scaled-up versions of figures from the museum’s ceramics selection have been digitally printed onto coloured tiles, which adorn the interior of each cubicle.
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Designmuseum Denmark, by OEO Studio
Designmuseum Denmark has undergone its first redesign since the 1920s and the new interior is meant to honour the work of its original designer, Kaare Klint. Klint’s use of simple clean lines are echoed through OEO’s work in the museum, most notably through the lights.
The studio chose to reinstate the original Le Klint 101 pendant lamp, a spherical paper shade designed by Klint. Between two rows of Klint’s lamps, OEO has hung its own bespoke light shades, which are made up of neatly folded paper walled into a brass frame.
The studio also attempt to convey Klint’s sombre aesthetic through the six-metre-long bespoke bar counter, custom-made from oiled oak and rolled steel, which is meant to appear more architectural than a classic bar counter.
The main café features custom brass-footed, ash wood tables designed by OEO and coloured with a blue-grey stain developed specially for the museum. New window-bay seating in the space also makes use of the bespoke blue-grey stain, while the high stools, also designed by OEO, are made from smoked oak wood with leather seats.
Searcys St Pancras’ Champagne Bar, by DesignLSM
Searcys Champagne Bar at St Pancras International is undergoing a redesign, as the company looks to embrace a more indulgent look and feel for its 175th anniversary. DesignLSM was tasked with creating a modern new bar that is still befitting of its listed architectural surroundings.
The new bar designs are meant to embody Victorian elegance and inspire the kind romance and excitement historically instilled by rail travel. A key focus of the new layout is to incorporate more flexible and varied seating, providing privacy in the form of comfortable nooks for couples while also facilitating celebrations for larger parties.
The bar itself will comprise of glass cases created to showcase the brand’s range of champagnes and a seafood bar as Searcys attempts to become more food focussed. Ultimately, DesignLSM will aim to create cohesion between the interiors of the new modern bar and Searcys’ recently refurbished art deco brasserie, with renovations set to be complete by early September 2022.