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36 PROJECT REPORT: HOTELS, RESTAURANTS & BARS


The colour palette was one of the most important aspects to the client – specifically they wanted to see black, gold and red


Richard Blandy, director at Stiff + Trevillion, the architects for the new eatery’s interiors.


However despite the protestors’ best


efforts, the local authority was concerned over health issues and Oriental City remained open for only one more year before it was closed in 2008. There was much debate about what would replace the building. The UK’s financial crisis meant the owner’s plans were no longer viable and finding a buyer would be difficult. Meanwhile, continued but fruitless protests occurred about the building’s abandoned state. Eventually, in 2013, planning permission was granted for a full redevelopment of the site to include a Morrisons supermarket, flats and, in order to retain the history of the site, an appropriately oriental food hall. It also stipulated that an Asian supermarket would be included, in order to allow the food hall customers to purchase the ingredients they were consuming. In 2014, the building was demolished and construction of the replacement development, designed by Sheppard Robson, began.


The architects designed the shell of each unit in the overall development, and that the interior would be taken care of by each respective tenant and their chosen architect or designer, in this case Stiff + Trevillion. “They’d put in a lift and the concrete staircase, but otherwise it was the original slab, blockwork walls,” Blandy explains. “They had put it in all the glazing systems and the roof. So it was ready to fit out but it was a blank canvas.”


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The new food hall is owned by Royal China Group, who were familiar with Stiff + Trevillion’s work. “We were approached by them, having worked with them for years,” says Blandy.


The opening of Bang Bang in July last year was a big event in Colindale, with Chinese dragon dancers performing and the local mayor and MP in attendance. With the area having been without its much- loved food hall for nine long years, its replacement was hungrily awaited.


Dining with a difference Although Stiff + Trevillion have worked on many restaurants before, they’d never done a project quite like Bang Bang, and it was its unusual nature that was so appealing to the practice. “It was really exciting,” Blandy says. Stiff + Trevillion weren’t the only ones new to the food hall concept however – although they own a lot of restaurants in the UK and China, the client had also never worked on one. “It was new to them but it’s very common in east Asian countries, particularly China,” explains Blandy. “Because it was their first venture into this they had no preconceived ideas. We were doing a lot of research together.” Although the food hall initiative is somewhat recognisable from the type of eating experience on offer in shopping centres, Bang Bang – which translates as ‘good good’ in Mandarin – takes this to a higher level. “Food halls in big shopping centres would be the usual suspects and where you sat was very much demarcated by particular restaurants,” says Blandy.


ADF APRIL 2018


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