In the historic shadow of Hereford Cathedral and the world-famous Hereford Mappa Mundi, Afro-Portuguese restaurant chain Nando’s is creating its own landmark presence in the city with a new restaurant design spearheaded by international hospitality designers Harrison.
Part of a modern shopping centre development in Old Market, this new Nando’s venue successfully embraces the restaurant’s modern Afro-Portuguese branding and overcomes shopfront restrictions. The venue also meets environmental parameters, as Harrison designer Rebecca Nicholson explained:
Environmental considerations are always at the forefront of any work we do, so the BREEAM requirements were fairly easily met. The overriding challenge for us was to build brand personality and uniqueness of design into the interior and exterior of a unit which looked just like every other neighbouring retail unit.
The result for the exterior design is a restaurant in keeping with the surrounding units and location, but with a unique street presence. This was realised through the use of branded awnings which increase visibility and interest, while keeping the vision to the inside clear and inviting. Overall the external aesthetic is sophisticated in two-tone red furniture adding quality and class and the familiar planters.
Nando’s has a reputation for investing in unique and outstanding design, and this restaurant is no different, with innovative approaches to lighting, furniture and accessories. In the main space, the lighting is contemporary and interesting with tubular systems over the booths.
A delicate metal framework with light displays creating interest in the windows. The aim was to maintain a calm balance within the overall restaurant space, yet still create aesthetic variation and interest.
The bar-front tiles have been specially cast using a string-wrapped block, to emphasise the bar area in mustard and ochre shades. Rich tones in the reclaimed timber flooring of random widths are interlocked with vibrant green tiles to give substantial, hardwearing design interest underfoot.
Furniture highlights in the space include the fixed upholstered booths in modern African-inspired designs. Each booth utilises a striking mixture of timber panels in beautiful reclaimed softwood set in a diagonal design and steel framework.
Harrison collaborated on these for Nando’s with a mix of custom-made tables in reclaimed timber with copper tops and screen surrounds on the booths by Harrison.
Interior colour was injected through the use of soft, tan leather seating at the front of the restaurant, and into the soft seating chairs lining the edges of the restaurant.
Many elements within this Nando’s restaurant are one-off designs by the studio such as the walls and ceilings. Timber and fret-cut aged steel form layered ceiling rafts in traditionally inspired shapes. Dynamic textures and shapes create visual impact, connecting the spaces within the restaurant and creating a visual flow.
Harrison designers felt that this latest restaurant is an asset to Nando’s well-established design credentials and is a landmark for the studio, being their 300th Nando’s restaurant successfully completed in the UK.
Images © Harrison