Box 3 Interview / B3 Designers & Golden Bee

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Mark Bithrey of B3 Designers

B3 Designers are the design studio behind the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards winning Carbon bar. As one of our previous overall winners, they are also designing Box 3 of the Box Project at this year’s awards ceremony at London’s Farmiloe Building. We interview Mark Bithrey (Managing Director)

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

At the moment I’m really enjoying ‘Fish & Chip Shop’. I love the simple food offering with the cool refined interior.

What do you find most inspiring about the Box Project and why?

Having the same brief as other consultancies and anticipating that we will have the opportunity to explore other interpretations has been really inspiring. For us working within the restrictions of colour, material and space has been a great opportunity to find solutions that are functional and elegant and to really challenge ourselves.

What design challenges did you face with your box?

A big challenge was the fact that the natural order had been switched, we weren’t approaching suppliers as we usually would, we were working within limitations of what was available. They were excellent in what they supplied, but it was definitely trying working within those restrictions. Another challenge was the fact that the box is completely freestanding, and we’ve had to think of ways to fix elements onto it while being structurally sound.

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

We were really happy with all the materials supplied. Although we enjoyed exploring possibilities with LED Light Sheet, we also found both Quartzforms and Mass Concrete interesting. They are both dealing with a man made product yet still has elements of naturalness.

Where have you taken your inspiration from for your box?

We were very inspired by nature. Because we had a multitude of products to deal with we started to look at the natural world and how the natural world composes layers of various materials in an elegant way. This then influenced the end result of our design.

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

We’re excited about the opportunity to celebrate the fact that the awards have been very successful for 5 years now and hearing the results of the 3 projects we’re shortlisted for this year.

Rsz Michael Photo

Michael Jones of Golden Bee

Set atop London’s historic and eclectic Old street, Golden Bee (designed by Grapes Design) is shortlisted for this year’s Restaurant & Bar Design Awards and is the official after-party bar for the Awards on the night of the 12th September. We interview Michael Jones (Owner).

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

Brindisa London Bridge is still an old favourite of mine. Great bustling atmosphere with lovely tapas. Favourite bar is Night Jar. Lovely basement jazz bar serving innovative cocktails. A great place to meet friends and get away from it all.

What attracts you to a bar or restaurant?

I love trying new and quirky venues. London is a hot bed of new venues – there seems to be 4 or 5 opening every week.

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

I am obsessed with heights and roof terraces at the moment. London is going up, and we are slowly catching up with New York which has some amazing roof terraces. The views across London are second to none and should be utilised.

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

Huge fan of SushiSamaba. Great location, fantastic views and awesome food / drinks. Really has bought something different to the London scene.

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

Love working with wood. The uses are endless both indoors and outdoors. 

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

Really looking forward to meeting the designers of the bars and restaurants.  They are often overlooked when venues receive awards and even staff usually don’t know who designed the venue.

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