Box 4 Interview / Archer Humphryes Architects and Newman Street Tavern


David Archer of Archer Humphryes Architects

We interview David Archer of Archer Humphryes Architects, who won the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2010/11 with their Busaba Eathai venue. Now they are working on Box 4 of the Box Project, to be revealed at this year’s awards at London’s Farmiloe Building.

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

At the moment I love eating in Caravan in Kings Cross, it is in Central St Martins School of Art and they have made a wonderful energetic space with a great deal of intelligence.  I also love Café Dishoom in Shoreditch, it seems to present endless avenues of consideration and thought to me as a designer. I always enjoy suffering design envy.

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

I think the location is wonderful, and the impermanence. It is wonderful to create something that should be beautiful for only 6 hours.

3. What design challenges did you face with your box?

The main challenges have been the need to develop an idea without being able to test it or mock it up. We will see what happens. 

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

The two most interesting aspects have been the GRP panels and the Lasvit chandeliers. The GRP material has provide the back bone of the project and seems to provide almost unlimited opportunities. The Lasvit chandeliers are a fixed entity but provide incredible beauty in themselves.

5. Where have you taken your inspiration from for your box?

Well, contemporary art installations and a marriage pavilion by Klien Dytham in Japan.

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

What I always enjoy is how so many ideas and restaurant designs are grouped together and can be seen at once. It is really very stimulating.


Nigel Sutcliffe of Newman Street Tavern

Nigel Sutcliffe is half of the duo (the other half being Jerome Armit) behind Newman Street Tavern, which has been shortlisted for the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 12/13 and is hosting the bar within Box 4 of the awards this year.

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

My favourite restaurant/bar is The Sir Charles Napier. It is quintessentially English sat in the Chiltern hills, the most welcoming fires in winter and the most beautiful gardens to while away the summer days in.

What attracts you to a bar or restaurant?

I guess it all depends on the mood, but good food and drink is a given. Then it’s how you’re treated, it doesn’t matter who you’re with or what time of the week, casual or celebration whatever you want is no issue, to be given everything like it’s nothing – I want to go there.

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

Right now I see that as hypothetical – so anywhere that needs a journey. There is nothing better than getting lost and then finding a great bar with amazing food so anywhere remote.

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

Would have to be Perkin Reveller for Historic Royal Palaces. With so many stakeholders to please and so many heritages to be preserved it is a small miracle that came to fruition, one that seems to have satisfied everyone and compromised nothing.

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

Wood. Organic, sustainable, malleable, beautiful, touchable, admirable and unique every time.

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

Well, I’ve never been before so it will be a privilege to introduce Newman Street Tavern to an amazing group of people, in a completely different context than I ever imagined, after all, our goal was to showcase our suppliers, to be considered credible by design is flattering. I’ve now met quite a few other nominees so it will be good to see how some of them do.

The Box Project will be revealed at the awards on the 12th September at London’s Farmiloe Building. You can purchase tickets via our website.

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