Thursday 08 May 2014
Housed within two conjoined historic buildings on Nethergate, at the heart of the Scottish city’s retail and entertainment district, BuckleyGrayYeoman’s design of the 100 cover Nando’s restaurant restores period features and makes bold additions to create a colourful, contemporary space that is unmistakably Nando’s.
The design brief was to create a new, innovative restaurant that would be unique within the fun-loving, youthful brand. While each restaurant within the chain is individual, it has to contain elements of the Nando’s ‘DNA’ to make sure it sits comfortably within the brand.
A key design element for the restaurant was merging the architectural identity of the Grade II listed Victorian building that makes up the front portion of the restaurant, with the industrial character of the adjoining 1920s warehouse to the rear. The main challenge was to respond intelligently to the differences in character between the two adjoining buildings that make up the restaurant space. These two elements were given a contemporary overhaul that makes the most of their period features, then linked through the use of a 40 ft reclaimed shipping container. This addition houses the kitchen at the heart of the restaurant referencing the brands South African roots, where shipping containers are commonly used as spaces for restaurants and shops.
A capacious double height area has been created with an exposed timber roof and structural steelwork, emphasising the spatial qualities and industrial character of the building. These newly restored details have been given a playful overhaul, taking centre-stage in an interior design that expresses the vibrancy of the Nando’s brand through an eclectic palette of materials and colour.
Continuing Nando’s commitment to commissioning art, a 5m high graffiti mural fills the rear wall of the warehouse building. BuckleyGrayYeoman used the full height of the warehouse space to create a delicate pendant light sculpture, creating a play of colour above diners’ heads.
In the central space that links the Victorian and warehouse buildings, a staircase made from reclaimed Balinese timber leads up to a mezzanine overlooking the warehouse dining area. The mezzanine level accommodates the washrooms, which have been clad in reclaimed galvanized steel spiral ducting and feature bespoke wash basins innovatively cast using concrete infused fabrics.
Carefully considered detail runs throughout the project, which uses furniture from Fritz Hansen upholstered in Paul Smith fabrics.
The restaurant, which opened in October 2012, measures 590 sq. m, including basement/back of house.