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NANDO’S WESTFIELD, STRATFORD
Saturday 07 Jan 2012
Within the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, Nando's restaurant occupies over 7,500 square feet in a prominent 2nd floor corner position within the mall boulevard.
Everyone involved in producing this restaurant were anxious to see fresh, innovative and dynamic ideas that would complement the sheer scale and grandeur of the Stratford development, while still embodying the Nando's brief of feeling African and Portuguese, natural, warm, fun and creative.
An avenue of magnificent olive trees guides customers into the restaurant where they are met with a symphony of design features and creative finishes. As a flagship store, it was essential that Harrison maintained the ‘Nando's feel', which was achieved by creating a strong link back to their African roots.
All the artwork was produced by African Artists as were the ceramic ‘pages' (tiles). Harrison collaborated closely with the Spier Arts Academy based in Cape Town to produce the pages, each of the 800 tiles are individual and handmade by artists there.
The luxuriously patterned black and gold mosaic tiled floor leads to a sweeping seven metre long server, flaunting an organic rolling golden oak countertop and a snaking frontage clad in glistening polished copper ‘armadillo' bands.
The sprawling heavily textured hazel ceiling coffer was formed with 10 metre long panels traditionally woven in a Suffolk field using split hazel branches by master hurdle maker David Downie and transported to site by articulated lorry, before very carefully being lifted and knitted into place overhead.
Four huge circular columns punctuate the hazel weave boasting spiralling swirls of colour. Upon closer examination it can be seen that two of the columns have been created by the artistic arrangement of countless individual recycled bottle tops and the final two made up of thousands of tightly coiled paper rolls from unwanted magazine publications bonded onto the column face, just one of the artworks created by Spier Arts Academy.
The timber floor provides natural warmth and is contrasted with the raw concrete circular booths with the red leather soft core and fumed oak tables. The restaurant boasts a single flowing curved wall which transforms across its length into varying textures, colours and tones by the use of reclaimed cedar timber shingles, vibrant South African art panels and handmade ceramic ‘pages' all combining to form this pixelated wave that flows through the full length of the space.
A six metre long coordinator, extensive cookline equipment run, 30 square metres of cold room storage, a separate room housing four combi ovens and a capacious wash up area with full recycling waste management area ensures that this beautiful restaurant is backed up by practicality to empower Nandoca's with the facilities required to keep 200 plus customers happy.
Harrison related the design back to the scale of the building by including large features to compensate i.e. oversizing to the trumpet light fittings, increased servery length and floor finishes scales. The hazel ceiling feature was created to envelop the central areas and connect the space as a whole. To soften the effect of the high ceiling, we dropped sparkly glass pendant lights and an intensity of tiny ‘firefly' lights through the central areas at varied lower levels, provide sparkle and movement, this in turn also ups the presence of the store from outside areas.