WAITROSE COOKERY SCHOOL
Monday 08 Nov 2010
London - Waitrose, one of the UK's leading supermarkets, will cement its position as the destination for food lovers by opening the UK's first grocery-store owned cookery school on 8th November 2010, above the retailer's Finchley Road store.
Gensler, the leading global architecture and design practice, were appointed by Waitrose to lead the concept development and interior design of all public facing areas of the 4,600ft2 flagship location, working closely with CDS Wilman who provided the fit out of the cookery school.
While clearly part of the Waitrose brand, the school has been designed to present itself within a more familiar, domestic environment - ensuring a comfortable, inspirational experience for all its visitors, with cooking right at its heart.
The entire space has been designed to reflect the communal ambience of a kitchen table where Waitrose customers will be able to gather, communicate, taste and share a passion for food. The open-plan school features 12 kitchen stations, a demonstration theatre to seat 40 people, wine bar, dining area and a four-metre long floor to ceiling wine display.
The school's strong contemporary feel uses neutral coloured materials and European Oak to warm the areas where visitors get closer to the brand, such as the floor to ceiling bookshelves, reception and dining tables and product displays. Besides delivering a comprehensive timetable of classes, the cookery school will also be used for press launches, wine tasting and media events.
"Waitrose are creating a real hands on experience for those who empathise with the brands passion for food," describes Gensler design director Owain Roberts. "Their aim is to empower customers with knowledge in an engaging environment, ultimately building a stronger relationship with the brand."
Gensler also created the cookery school's identity and environmental graphic package. Designed to suggest the multi-layered, interactive activity of cooking, an illustrative collage of produce, utensils and kitchen equipment has been applied, at large scale, on signature walls throughout the school.