London based creative + boutique studio, carbon, have recently completed work on the much anticipated 2nd location of Bea’s of Bloomsbury; an independent boutique cafe specialising in bespoke cakes and high quality food.
The new location comprises of two floors: a kitchen and serving area on the ground floor, and a mezzanine level with bench and booth seating, offering customers a casual relaxed environment in which to look out through the glazed facade at St Paul’s. The site is a narrow 70 sqm corner unit in the newly developed One New Change building by Jean Nouvel adjacent St Paul’s Cathedral.
The design of the restaurant is modern with a twist of the aesthetic mind-set of a Japanese tea house. With much of the food offered at Bea’s being cute and colourful, the design approach went for a dark neutral background to celebrate the skilled hands at Bea’s. Cupcakes, cakes and quaint objects are displayed in individual glass boxes, showcasing the food as stars of the show.
The upholstery throughout the store compliments the colours of Bea’s food with sprinkles of different coloured cushions contrasting the darker background. The palette was kept tight with dark anthracite on vertical surfaces and soft blue undertones on ceilings and feature areas.
The lighting is kept ambient with a soft comfortable glow from the ceramic teapot lights suspended at various heights, adding a layer of fun and elegance to the scheme. At night, the display boxes and teapot lights output a welcoming glow that puts a smile across the faces of people passing by.
The focus was in creating a unique and experiential space for Bea that reflected the same care and passion she had for the food she offered. The challenge was in creating an environment that reflected her culture which customers could recognize and engage, despite being an independent retailer.
Sugimoto, carbon co-founder/director Go
Elements of her packaging design, also by carbon, can be seen with large scale graphics swooping through the scheme. The graphic is broken up along the various vertical surfaces of the space, which can be seen in its complete form along the elevation.
In creating a strong and present identity, it is crucial to maintain a design language that is consistent throughout her offer, the store is her experiential identity.
+ Project credits / data
Project: Bea’s of Bloomsbury | http://www.beasofbloomsbury.com/
Location: adjacent St. Paul’s Cathedral, One New Change, London, UK
Number of floors: two (ground and mezzanine)
Total floor area: 110 sq m
Typology: Interior design
Client: Bea Vo
Designer: Carbon | http://www.carbon-creative.com
Contractor: Form Interiors
Mechanical: 360 Engineering
Electrical: Core Electrical
Lighting: Philips LED Solutions, Philips Electronics UK Limited
Original BTC England – Teapot lights
Carbon is a London based multi-disciplinary design practice. Established by Go Sugimoto and Ahmed Ansari, the studio engages in the design of human social spaces in retail, residential, commercial, education and cultural projects. Currently the studio is working on retail projects in London, India, Abu Dhabi, and residential projects across London and Africa with a strong focus on the integration of brand as it relates to the individual expression.
Owner and chef
After a brief spell studying law at Cornell University Americanborn Bea Vo realised that food was her passion and set about studying at Le Cordon Bleu and then working in London’s finest restaurants including Nobu. In 2007, she took that passion one step further, and opened her first cafe on Theobald’s Road in Bloomsbury. It quickly gained a reputation for fine food served in an informal and relaxed environment, with an emphasis on quality and not hype. In 2010 Bea was invited to open a second location in One New Change and has plans for two more locations in 2011.
When people come to our cafes we don’t just want to offer them superior food but we want to invite them to have an experience – to indulge and relax. The design of our cafe is integral to setting the tone for the kind of experience we want our customers to have: our ethos is relaxed and informal with an emphasis on quality and we feel that Carbon has represented just that with their simple yet striking design.
+ All images and drawings courtesy Carbon
+ Recommended restaurant project featured on +MOOD