Courtesy of Royal Garden Hotel
WDA were appointed to work on the complete re-design of the renowned Park Terrace Restaurant, the much- favoured restaurant at the heart of the hotel’s food and beverage operation.
The brief required a complete overhaul of the existing interiors to form a new restaurant-bar-lounge as the key public area of the hotel, integrating operational flexibility within the space and creating a contemporary-classic look to suit the hotel’s clientele.
A myriad of floor and ceiling levels were removed together with existing services and FF+E, taking the space back to the original concrete structure.
Central to the new design was the desire to provide an almost seamless flow through the restaurant, its private dining space and adjacent bar and lounge to allow guests to use the spaces in a variety of new ways with the greatest comfort and ease. This was achieved through elevating this elongated space to one level, subtly differentiating areas with the inclusion of large glass-laminated sheer fabric screens and the use of a natural material palette that evokes Kensington Gardens beyond the full-height windows. Each window module was framed with a layered effect of sliding sheer screens to either side with fixed fabric pelmet above.
A discreet host desk and free-standing leather-clad wardrobe are situated at the point of entry to the restaurant with adjacent access to the new restrooms. The restaurant’s bar was positioned as a visual anchor to the centre of the main space, just beyond the entrance, establishing important direct visual contact with the lobby, whilst supporting the natural division of spaces to either side.
The bar was designed as a single block of flamed granite, with services recessed to the rear and subtle uplighting to the front face, whilst the rear bar was kept as light-weight and transparent as possible to allow daylight to pass through it from the windows behind, allowing foliage to form the ultimate backdrop to the bar elevation. The sheer glass screens at either side of the bar provide a subtle containment to the area without interfering with guests’ views across the entire space; achieved in part by the semi-transparency of the screens - themselves up-lit - and by their varying heights according to their locations.
The visual flow through the spaces was partially maintained at the private dining room (far end of the restaurant), where bespoke geometric glass and satin-lacquered shelving form the wall between the two spaces, providing a sense of enclosure for those using the private dining room without entirely removing it and its end feature wall from the overall form of the restaurant. Likewise from the restaurant, the view to the specially commissioned artwork wall within the lounge is only interrupted by the sheer fabric screens providing a layering effect through the length of the entire space.
As a highly used, all-day dining environment, it was essential to build in numerous operational requirements from the start of the design process and to ensure that pantries and service stations were properly located, allowing for maximum capacity when required. This, and the multi-functional aspect of the space, meant for precision space planning and coordination of services.
Materials used throughout were selected on the basis of their durability and appropriateness for use within the context of the brief and multi-phased task and decorative lighting was incorporated to effect mood changes throughout the day and create drama at night.