THE LIGHT (ZIZZI'S) RESTAURANT, LEEDS, UK
Thursday 20 Dec 2012

 

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Design Narrative 

d_raw's 2000sq.ft site-specific design for Italian restaurant chain Zizzi's newest site in Leeds, Northern England takes inspiration directly from the city's industrial heritage - embracing a handful of cultural connections to make an inspiring mark.

Most prominent is a loom motif (during the industrial revolution the city was famous for its textile industry, particularly its woollen mills), which has been translated into a central installation of interwoven wooden slats that slope dramatically upwards above the heads of diners. Designed to look like bobbins dipping in and out of fabric, each slat wooden slat appears to pierce through the restored concrete rib ceiling - another reminder of the city's influential industrial past.

Additional, smaller architectural tics underscore the visual impact: a hulking black steel bar echoes the heavy-duty machinery of the industrial age while woven upholstered panels also riff on the textile thematic.

On a more modern note a smattering of design features tip a nod to contemporary Leeds life. Fluorescent strip lighting, to denote the restaurant's home within the Leeds The Light shopping centre, acts as a beacon within the windows, while the blue and yellow of toilets and woollen stools acknowledge the city's proud football culture.

Design Brief

To create a contemporary restaurant - a destination venue - that would reflect the identity of the Zizzi brand, but which would also trace a line back to Leed's cultural and industrial heritage. It was our job to re-imagine the industrial, sometimes gritty, part of the city's history into a space that would embody that tradition but ultimately feel fresh and exciting.

Design Challenges

Creating a cohesive and inspiring link between the historic, ultra traditional identity of the location/space and the contemporary ethos of the brand.

Reconfiguring the relatively basic dimension of the site to create an unpredictable experience inside.

Innovating/re-imagining a set of common materials to spark a new design narrative.

Generating a sense of lightness within an inherently dark, somewhat oppressive space.

Design Results

Key features include a set of interwoven wooden slats, reminiscent of weavers' bobbins, which slope dramatically above the heads of diners. Appearing to pierce through the restored concrete rib ceiling like fabric they provide key visual theatre and a reminder of the city's influential industrial past.

Additional, smaller architectural tics also underline a utilitarian heritage: a hulking black steel bar echoes the heavy-duty machinery of the industrial age, while woven upholstered panels riff on the textile thematic.

Interwoven wooden slats reminiscent of weavers' bobbins, slope dramatically above diners heads. Appearing to pierce through the restored concrete ceiling like fabric they provide key visual theatre and a reminder of the city's influential industrial past. 

Smaller architectural tics underline a utilitarian heritage: a black steel bar echoes the heavy-duty machinery of the industrial age while woven upholstered panels riff on the textile thematic


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