Box 2 Interview / designLSM and Galvins


Steve La Bouchardiere of designLSM

designLSM  are the design studio behind Restaurant & Bar Design Awards
winning Galvins La Chapelle. As one of our previous overall winners, they are also designing Box 2 of the Box Project at this year’s awards ceremony at London’s Farmiloe Building. We interview Steve La Bouchardiere (Managing Director) and Clare Devlin (Associate Designer)

Other than your own, which is your favourite restaurant or bar, and why?

All of Terence Conran’s restaurants have stood the test of time – but most recently The Boundary is classic Conran. It’s a dramatic yet intimate interior, doesn’t feel intimidating but still feels special, great use of space light, and colour – and it’s a basement. Every angle is like a film set! The rooftop bar is also great – again it has that deft Conran touch of making you feel glad to be there!

What do you find most inspiring about the box project and why?

The building itself is an inspiration and full of so much character. But additionally limiting the colour pallet to white inspired us to create interest using different textures, shapes, light and shadows rather than colour.

What design challenges did you face with your box?

The space we have been given has lots of existing columns, so creating a design that physically works around these, yet is visually strong in its own right was a challenge; along with the practical issue that we can’t fix back to any part of the building, so the structures need to be designed as self supporting.

Which material in your box do find most interesting to work with and why?

All of the materials have been interesting to work with, however ‘Dendrolight’ (which is a lightweight engineered solid wood material with low swelling and low glue content), is probably the most interesting as it’s a relatively new product to the market and something we haven’t worked with before.

Where have you taken your inspiration from for your box?

We were given the working title of ‘Wood’, so we initially took inspiration from natural structures and forms as well as architectural installations / structures that have been constructed in timber.

What are you looking forward to most about the Awards ceremony this year?

Seeing the event grow every year – it’s great that there’s an event that’s dedicated to showcasing restaurant design from around the globe. Gives us all a chance to see the designs and meet the owners and designers behind them.

Sara Galvin Close L1

Sara Galvin of Galvins Restaurants

Sara Galvin is the woman behind  Galvins Restaurants
, founded by her Michelin starred chef husband Chris and his brother in 2005. Each of the seven Galvins restaurants is unique but exquisitely designed. As a winner of the 2009/10 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards they are hosting the bar area within Box 2 at the awards ceremony this September. 

Other than your own, which is your favourite restaurant or bar and why? 

Any bar or restaurant designed by David Collins. I’m particularly fond of the Blue Bar at the Berkeley and also the Wolseley which Chris opened with Jeremy King and Chris Corbin in November 2003. David Collins really knew how to design spaces that make you look and feel ultra-special…very important in my book; the attention to detail, the lighting, every aspect imbued with quality and style.

What attracts you to a bar or restaurant?

I love restaurants and bars that you make you feel cosseted, that project refinement, where there is elegance and old-school Hollywood glamour, where the service is attentive and simply glides along effortlessly and all the guests look serene and untroubled.

What would be your ideal location for a new restaurant or bar?

Anywhere in the UK that has spectacular views of the sea, where the panorama can be enjoyed by all, where there is a striking coastal landscape and lush flora and fauna…..I’d love to open a restaurant in that place.

Which is your favourite Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2012/13 shortlisted project, and why?

is the kind of bar that I’d feel very comfortable sitting at. I love the colour palette, the coolness of it and also the intimacy – it’s a very exclusive looking space where you could happily chat to the no doubt extremely knowledgeable bartender. I also like, for it’s elegance, Angler Restaurant.

What is your favourite materials to work with, and why?

I like working with materials that make you want to reach out and touch them, that are tactile, materials that make you want to run your fingers across them such as beautiful woods like walnut and rosewood, and marble, and leather and velvets and suedes.

What are you looking forwards to most about the Awards ceremony this year?

There are so many amazing designs up for awards so I’m looking forward to seeing who does well as it appears that there is very stiff competition this year. Galvin Restaurants has three designs in the short-list this year, but I’m particularly keeping my fingers crossed for Demoisellle which was a design project I was very heavily involved with designLSM in and is very personal to me.

Visit our Pinterest board for Box 2 for more inspiration and details of the designers and products involved!

Next Thursday at 3pm, we will be Twitter Interviewing Sir Terence Conran on design! You can follow along by following us on Twitter: @rabdawards

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