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38 PROJECT REPORT: HOTELS, RESTAURANTS & BARS


that forward and used that to influence the way we’ve constructed the shells to the kiosks.”


PROJECT FACTFILE


Client: Royal China Group Shell architect: Sheppard Robson Interior architect: Stiff + Trevillion Opened: July 2017 Food hall floor area: 2,000 m2 No. of covers (food hall): 450 No. of kiosks: 27 No. of restaurant covers: 200+


The construction of the kiosk shells formed an important part of Stiff + Trevillion’s work, as they wanted to minimise what each food retailer had to do in order to get up and running. “We’d put in the shop front, the front counter, the fascia, the side walls and the services, so they just had to put in the cooking equipment and a bit of lighting,” Blandy explains. “We didn’t want them to have too much influence on the front so the whole design was unified. Otherwise within no time at all we wouldn’t know what it was going to look like, it could look chaotic.” The only other element each tenant was responsible for was the signage. The practice used a lot of black granite and polished brass throughout, again echoing the materials used in East Asian construction and interior design. “We’ve also used black and red fabric between some of the battens to conceal acoustic panels, but these are very much Asian colours,” says Blandy. “Particularly in Chinese and Japanese cultures, there’s a lot of red and black in their traditional architecture.” The colour palette was one of the most important aspects to the client – specifically they wanted to see black, gold and red.


Contrary to the other choices made, one material deliberately chosen because it isn’t typical of Asian design is polished concrete. “We didn’t want to do something that was too much of a pastiche,” explains Blandy. “We wanted it to look modern, but with hints of the history of Asian design. It’s got a feeling of the Far East.” Another influencing factor was the client’s request that clean, robust materials were utilised in order to keep maintenance costs to a minimum.


As well as the building elements, Stiff +


Trevillion directly appointed graphic design firm The Plant to take care of the project’s graphic elements. They came up with the name Bang Bang and also did the logo, which in turn influenced the way Stiff + Trevillion specified the tiles. Blandy believes this “very important” collaboration was key to the project’s success.


The authentic street food experience has been delivered, says Blandy: “That comes from the kiosks, by the very nature that you stroll around among the tables and in walkways to get everything.” The Chinese-themed interior of the Golden Dragon restaurant includes a


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purpose-made carpet designed by textile designer Govindia Hemphill. One wall features 3 m x 1 m Chinese lacquered panels – brought over from China by the client – that can be folded back to reveal a large dragon. “The idea was that you could change the atmosphere in the room,” Blandy says. Confident in the restaurant’s popularity, the client “definitely wanted it to be suitable for big events.”


Service at scale Of course, working on a project of this scale doesn’t come without its challenges. “The biggest problem is the number of outlets and the kitchen extract related to it – it’s so huge,” Blandy explains. “It’s 1,200 m x 2 m – it’s big enough that you could walk down it – and that has to be concealed so that the public aren’t really aware of it. The servicing of something like this is very complicated.”


The food hall comprising 27 kiosks, each with its own tenant, also proved somewhat difficult. “Fitting out something on that scale is relatively complicated,” says Blandy. “We had lots of different operators coming in wanting to install their kitchen and each had their own contractor. As you can imagine, it gets quite tricky!” Sustainability features include a system that collects all wet waste from each kiosk via a hopper, which dispenses it into a large 5 m x 3 m tank. “It’s then pumped into a lorry and taken away to an anaerobic digester and turned into electricity,” explains Blandy. “It means there’s not huge amounts of wet waste creating smells onsite, making the whole place a lot cleaner.”


Bang Bang Oriental also benefits from the huge amount of refrigeration required by the adjacent Morrisons (in fact located within the same building): “The heat is reclaimed and can be used for hot water,” Blandy says. This makes a big difference to the building’s energy usage, given the huge amount of washing up produced. While Oriental City was extremely popular, the success of the food hall has surpassed expectations, and Blandy certainly believes it offers a model for the food industry. In particular he sees it as a great platform for launching new restaurants. “If someone decides to set up and open a restaurant, it’s a huge investment, without properly knowing if it works,” he remarks. “With a small kiosk they have a proper chance to test it out. I think the future is heading that way.” 


ADF APRIL 2018


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