Busaba is located in Bicester Retail Village in the Oxfordshire town of Bicester.
The brief was unusual, introducing a highly individual, small branded restaurant into a concentrated retail environment outside London. These circumstances provided exceptional design opportunities.
The single volume unit offers a 9m ceiling height; this was divided to include a mezzanine level housing the bathrooms and overlooking the main dining hall from an open balcony. The lower level provides space for an open kitchen and bar area directly addressing the main dining hall. The approach to detailing retains aspects from traditional Thai houses and the use of dark colours creates a welcoming atmosphere.
Walls are lined in dark stained rattan, the roof is detailed with 600mm deep downstand beams with hardwood purlins and boarding and the furniture is detailed in teak and pegged together. The bars and bathrooms are detailed in black riven slate. Other characterful details include the ceiling hung lanterns and fans and the Thai lattice screens forming the waiting area. However, the more unusual aspects of the project regard its approach to the façade. This includes an area of new construction providing a terrace with an operable roof that allows outdoor dining in warm weather as well as using a heat reclaim system from the kitchen to heat the external area.
The character of the terrace is further enhanced with the planting of Frangipani trees and the incorporation of a surrounding pool separating diners from the thoroughfare.