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PROJECT REPORT: HOTELS, RESTAURANTS & BARS


37


“This is much more communal, you can sit wherever you like and pick up food from different kiosks. It’s much freer.” Blandy is a firm believer that food halls are set to become increasingly popular around the world, with a wide range of consumers looking for something different. “I think people are very adventurous now, and they really want quality and a good price, but not everybody wants to eat the same thing,” he says. “I think it’s a big market – we’re definitely seeing more people looking at that sector.” The exterior of the warehouse-style building features large diagrid cladding and glazing, designed by Sheppard Robson to echo the slanting roof – a much more contemporary aesthetic than its somewhat- dated predecessor Oriental City. The ground floor includes Royal China


Group’s Golden Dragon restaurant, and the food hall with multiple retailers is on the first floor, which then leads up to a mezzanine level. The 2,000 m2


food hall has a total of 27


different small ‘restaurants’ located in kiosks ranged along the walls, surrounding a central area of tables and chairs. There’s a variety of seating, for a diner capacity of 450. While Chinese food dominates the kiosks, the offerings extend from Japanese through to Indian. “It’s pretty broad,” Blandy says. The largest kiosks are just over 20 m2


, while the smallest are around 8 m2


The Colindale area has an ethnically diverse community including 4 per cent Chinese residents. However, the appeal of the food hall has a wide reach. “Every nationality comes,” says Blandy. “Many


ADF APRIL 2018 . East Asian-inspired


The designs for both the food hall and Golden Dragon were heavily influenced by traditional Far East architecture and design. “We did a timber-framed frontage to all the units that ties the entire facade together and that was influenced by Chinese and Japanese timber construction,” explains Blandy. They used natural timber, expressed bolt joints and dark-stained timber. “When we did the initial mood board there were conceptual images of that type of construction in their houses and buildings and temples. So we’ve taken


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people have travelled a good deal and they know genuine Thai, Indian, Chinese food, so it’s not new to them.”


The Golden Dragon restaurant on the ground floor offers a “slightly more formal” experience. Royal China Group already operates a restaurant by the same name in Soho, which is very well known for its dim sum, especially among the Chinese community. Blandy explains that among the group’s restaurants, Golden Dragon sits in the mid range. The restaurant can seat 200+ people, but was also designed to accommodate weddings with 300+ guests, as per the client’s brief.


The first floor mezzanine was added to comply with a planning requirement for community space, and there’s a room and a dance studio space which the community can rent out. The performers of regular dragon dances held in the food hall also use the rehearsal space, and there are plans to use further rooms on this level for therapies such as Chinese medicine and reflexology.


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