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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fettle On Raising the Bar

Renowned design studio Fettle discuss the ever-evolving world of bar and restaurant design and how they continue to push their creative boundaries.

Design studio Fettle are well versed in hospitality design with a strong portfolio across their offices in London and Los Angeles. Founded by Tom Parker and Andy Goodwin, they are acclaimed for creating beautifully functional spaces.

Yasmin Rooftop by Fettle | Photography by Simon Brown

Here, Fettle discuss some of their recent project work and how bar and restaurant design has evolved in recent times.

How has the approach to designing spaces for bars and restaurants changed in recent years?

We have seen a change in approach to designing bar and restaurant spaces partly determined by the industry itself and partly by how we are using these spaces.  We have found that our clients are now really seeking to create more theatrical, escapist and dramatic interiors, providing guests with a truly impactful and memorable experience.  This allows us as a studio to push the boundaries of what we can create and be more adventurous and playful with concepts.  Often we are now asked to create multi-purpose spaces – for example, co-working areas mixed with F&B elements which means we have to carefully consider our design decisions to cater to both needs and complement one another.

The Georgian by Fettle | Photography by Douglas Friedman

How has the shift in the way that customers use hospitality spaces redirected your approach?

It has made us more daring and whimsical in our approach to design and really focus on the guest experience.  In many ways, the changes that are taking place more widely in the industry are beneficial to us and the way in which we work as they lean into the components that we typically look to introduce.

Cichetti by Fettle | Photography by Helen Cathcart

Where does the conversation start with a client when taking on the redesign of a bar or restaurant?

This significantly depends on the client, the scope of the project and the overall concept.  Our projects vary from smaller renovations to full refurbishments, to new builds.  The food concept for each project drives a vast amount of how we approach the narrative and in turn the space aesthetically and functionally. The best projects that we create always come from the most productive relationships that we have with our clients, which is often built during the early stages of a project. We endeavour to have as much time as possible face to face with our clients during the beginning of a project to ensure that we have the best understanding of their vision and expectation – this really allows us to create our best work.

Living room – 1st Floor Members Bar by Fettle | Photography by Simon Brown

What core principles of design do you find yourself returning to, no matter what the brief for bars and restaurants?

We always begin with a detailed, unique and site responsive narrative based on a strong client brief.  The spaces we create have a number of common factors including layered lighting, varied colour palettes, use of pattern and strong focal features. We also always start a project ensuring that the space planning is carefully developed and works successfully for the client and its operational team.  It doesn’t matter how a space looks if it does not function effectively and allow for great service.

The Georgian by Fettle | Photography by Douglas Friedman

Which of your recent projects stand out for you and why?

We have worked on some incredible projects recently – stand out spaces have included Cichetti in Knightsbridge that recently won overall best design at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.  We have developed a great relationship with the client team and the design for this space allowed us to really push the boundaries.  We created a bespoke range of furniture, a dramatic marble curved bar and bespoke murals with artist Jessyln Brooks.

1 Warwick in Soho was also a fantastic project – this was on a huge scale – an eight story building featuring multiple spaces including two restaurants, bars areas, a private dining room and events space, a gym and co-working areas

The Georgian in Santa Monica was also a standout project this year.  The building itself is phenomenal and the team we worked with really allowed us to maximise the design and potential of the site.

W: fettle-design.co.uk | IG: @fettledesign

Cichetti by Fettle | Photography by Helen Cathcart


Rebekah Killigrew
Rebekah Killigrewhttp://www.rebekahkilligrew.com
Editor | www.architecturemagazine.co.uk | www.interiordesignermagazine.co.uk

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