Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Bar Bar Brighton

Designalexable has been busy and recently completed this unusual little operation which seeks to be a counter service vegetarian diner operation serving tasty tapas style food in stylish surroundings. The  design is derived from the compact form of the building, a deep slither that gives a critical dimension across the width, that controls everything.
It was important, from a trading point of view, that the bar be both the kind of place people might want to have a quick lunch and at the same time the bar needed to transform itself into an exclusive operation at night, a kind of stop on the route to somewhere else. This duality led to diner style booth seating - a style that is very good at this kind of transformation (I  like the diner shots in the film 'After Hours').
To stop the claustrophobic feeling of being in such a deep narrow unit we wanted to mirror all the walls so that there was this multiple reflection a bit like that Brian Eno 'No Pussyfooting' cover. Then we took the idea of printing on mirrors, like those mirror pictures of Monroe and James Dean that were popular in the 1970s. Ditching the frames, oversizing the images and using stylish modern graphics rather than the usual Hollywood icons, we found that we could give the place an identifiable image on a very tight budget.

The Axonometric view above gives some idea of how narrow the unit is and so how difficult it is in design terms to actually fit in this type of operation. The stairs in the bottom right lead down to staff area and prep + stores and have an escape route leading to the street. The Fire Enclosure is situated at the base of the stair so that it allows maximum area around the public toilet.

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