Ian Smith Design
• Name: The Honours Submitted by Ian Smith Design • Location: Edinburgh, Scotland • Date Completed: 7 July 2011 • Interior Designer : Ian Smith • Project description: To create a contemporary twist on the traditional brasserie, the kind long admired in Paris, New York, and London, one defined by its impressive interior, range of dishes and service-led approach. • Design Brief: Our brief was to provide a contemporary twist to the traditional brasserie which would be able to accommodate 70 covers and at the same time provide a flexible layout. The brasserie would be serving food to an estimated 80 diners at lunch and 120 in the evening, a heavy footfall, therefore, all surfaces would have to be durable and attractive. The bar was to be retained in its original position due to budget restraints. The bar would accommodate diners seated at it. Extra capacity/ overflow for 20 diners was required in the bar area for pre-dinner drinks or post dinner coffee. Lighting had to be adaptable to time of day or to create a mood. The design was to be striking and impressive to set a new benchmark for a city centre brasserie in Edinburgh In conjunction with our client (Martin Wishart) we wanted to create a space that would immediately speak of quality, reflecting his reputation (a Michelin star restaurateur) for providing excellent food and service. The concept was to create a contemporary twist on the traditional brasserie, the kind long admired in Paris, New York, and London, one defined by its impressive interior, range of dishes and service-led approach. • Favourite / Key aspect of the project: Taking two long narrow rooms with high ceilings in a Georgian property, east facing and retaining the original interior architecture to create a sense of space and light. • Why does the design work so well? In using stone, panelling and polished plaster we have created an established and glamorous space. The abundant use of mirror helps to open up what could be perceived as narrow spaces. The use of tall dark narrow columns and ceilings painted in charcoal strips help to create the effect of a garden pergola, widening and unifying the individual rooms, making you feel less enclosed. Bar / Lounge Area We have retained the bar in its original position and clad it in oak and black corian. We designed a gantry with overhead lighting, to take bottles, again using the black corian. The back of the bar is mirrored from above the gantry to the cornice; this visually pushes the rear wall back and reflects light back into the bar. For diners eating at the bar we have provided soft ambient light using three large shade fittings lined in gold for warmth. The narrowest floor area is directly when you enter the bar, to visually improve this space we have taken hard stone in alternating colours and run it across the width of the space. The stone is heavily grained making it very practical for heavy traffic. We have continued this design concept throughout the remaining area of the bar and throughout the entire dining space thus giving an illusion that both spaces appear wider than they are. At the end of the bar we have contrasted the wall finishes between warm oak and reflective black polished plaster giving the space drama and warmth. To give the illusion of a large rear window we have positioned a timber slatted blind from floor to ceiling over the existing window opening. The wall lights which have two shades, one higher than the other distribute the light over a greater distance in what is a high space. The shades on the wall lights are teal silk and gold lined. The teal complements the leather colour on the stools and the mohair velvet trimmed banquettes. To bring the room into better proportion we have painted the cornice in dark charcoal which creates the illusion that the cornice is lower. To add to this illusion we have painted the ceiling in an abstract design, this design also runs across the space adding to the illusion that (1) the ceiling is lower and (2) the room is wider. Gold Leaf discs in varying diameters have been applied to the polished plaster for style, glamour and to offset a linear and angular space. Teal was chosen as a contrast colour to liven up the bar area. Restaurant Area We have continued the flooring throughout the restaurant and also the concept for the ceiling and cornice for the same reasons stated for the bar area. For the walls in this area we have alternated between cream polished plaster and mirrored panels, the panels are divided by dark charcoal columns. The cream plaster and the mirror both reflect light and warmth, both surfaces are also practical. The dark charcoal columns give a visual support to the cornice and in doing so retain the classical proportions of the room. The columns also act as service ducts for services and a backdrop for the wall lights. The wall lights in this area are similar to those in the bar and have been used for the same reason as in the bar. Gold discs continue through into this space, again applied to the polished plaster. To maximise the covers required in the restaurant we chose to use banquette seating where possible. This provided greater capacity in the narrow room and allows for certain flexibility. Oak was chosen for the restaurant tables to bring a finish, used in the bar area, through to the restaurant. It was also chosen for its longevity and warmth. Leather has been used extensively through the bar and the restaurant, primarily for its durability, as the surface to cover all seating. Large scale shade light fittings have been used in both the restaurant and the bar (1) for scale (2) drama and (3) to visually lower the height of the ceiling.