Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2015: ‘A Story – Building Emotions’

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Awards video / photographs / winners magazine

To celebrate the seventh year of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, we teamed up with three exceptionally talented design studios and three build partners. Drawing inspiration from the anniversary, seven emotions were identified and matched with the seven stages in the build process. The theme for this year was ‘A Story – Building Emotions’.

  1. Ambition / Intent
  2. Interpretation / Expression
  3. Research / Curiosity
  4. Creation / Braveness
  5. Implementation / Commitment
  6. Delivery / Trust
  7. Realisation / Triumph
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Working with B3 Designers, DesignLSM and Dexter Moren Associates, we created a spectacular Awards ceremony held at London’s Old Truman Brewery on the 1st October 2015. Each designer created a series of highly visual mood panels which were revealed in stages live on the night by build partners DG Pro Interiors, Sanderson and DPC, culminating in the final big reveal of each designer’s completed build vision.

The Jane, a restaurant in Antwerp, Belgium designed by Piet Boon, and Dandelyan, a bar at the Mondrian London, UK designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio were announced as the Overall Winners. Another 36 category winners (including Best International & Best UK Winners) were revealed at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards’ winners function on the 1st October 2015.

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2015 (20) (James Newton Photographs)

Partners’ emotions in creating an amazing restaurant or bar


Each of the designers were asked about their emotions during the build process when creating an amazing restaurant or bar. For B3 Designers the initial emotions included bliss and excitement, both for themselves and the client. They also felt that sympathy is quite important – sympathy for the brand story, the heritage and fabric of the building and the ethos of the client. Considered details are then woven into the design to create an underlying consistency, and harmony.

“Pride is an essential emotion involved in design. By pride we don’t mean vanity, more a sense of ownership. When the designer grasps for meticulousness, an element of quality is achieved within the design and ultimately within the space.” – B3 Designers

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For DesignLSM it’s all about learning and research to develop a visual and tonal concept for a client’s brand and space. Seeking to understand what emotions they’d like to evoke in guests; these include curiosity and intrigue, a space for relaxation or an atmosphere that stirs the senses.

“Our design process is strategically targeted at conjuring the feelings… the tone of voice… colour, lighting, and carefully selected materials and finishes are combined to create a space and presence that captures each brand’s unique look and feel.” – DesignLSM

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Dexter Moren Associates strive to capture the essence of their client’s vision while keeping the end user in mind, creating something memorable to engage the audience.

“The most successful projects are those that mix design expression with functionality all the while celebrating passion for the product and service. Passion is our team’s biggest driver. It’s about following your heart and creating something both you and your client can be proud of.” – Dexter Moren Associates

Read more from the Designers.

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Build partners

Each of the build partners for the event described their emotions when creating a unique project.

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“We at Sanderson base every aspect of our work on our four core values. Values that are built on emotion.

Honesty – we believe that open communication links and transparency in all our procedures encourages freedom of expression which is crucial if we are to constantly improve, develop and fulfil our ambitions.

Proactivity – our enthusiasm and strong sense of commitment to both client and contractor ensures that we create relationships built on trust and mutual respect.

Intelligence – we pride ourselves in the fact that we research every aspect of each project thoroughly and are motivated by new design initiatives which will create effective and imaginative solutions.

Delivery – no project is too big or too small; we embrace every challenge and are excited by the opportunity to explore new areas and are proud of our achievements.

A combination of all these emotions makes working with Sanderson a truly unique experience.” – Sanderson

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DG Professional Interiors consider that Empathy, Affinity, Passion and Pride are key emotions.

“Empathy – In order to fully understand the feeling, thoughts and attitude of the designer, and client we have to fully appreciate the design concept and the environment being created, before considering the technical aspects and budgetary requirements of the design.

Affinity – With the concept understood, the technical aspects of the design then begins. Careful consideration is given to how the material finishes can best be used or applied to create the visualised impact as expected by the designer.

Passion and Pride – go hand in hand. To deliver a successful interior fit out you have to feel personal about the project and we encourage people to take ownership every step of the way. This helps focus the mind and encourages greater productivity, quality of workmanship and a sense of achievement when the project is successfully delivered to the total satisfaction of the client.” – DG Professional Interiors

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“From DPC the initial emotion from the moment we receive the project information to tender is excitement. I think it’s important that myself and my team still get that buzz from the thought of being involved in exciting bespoke projects no matter how many we do or what size they are. The next emotion is anticipation, to see if we do in fact win the work and get the opportunity to realise the design team/clients vision and be a part of the build process.

For the duration of the works we all have a sense of pride and almost vanity, to show the designers and the client and the rest of the world how good we are. This is portrayed in our work within the finer details of the finishes. As a team we take the work and the concept to heart and we embrace the challenges put before us.

During the works we will definitely feel the pressure at times to deliver the highest standard of finishes and finish the project on time, but it’s a pressure that we thrive on and we have come to embrace over the years.

The completion and handover of the project delivers a mixed feeling of pride, having delivered a good finish, elation at the client’s reaction and their excitement of seeing their dream space being realised, and relief that we have managed to put the designer’s concept and the clients expectations together in a physical form.

In short we love our job and wear our hearts on our sleeve.” – DPC

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BCS feel a deep sense of responsibility towards both the designer and the owner/operator. Crucially, we believe our role is to ensure the client receives as close to the visionary concept as practically possible; through communication, coordination and collaboration, we achieve this.

As the once theoretical, builds to become a new trading business we feel a great sense of pride to have been part of the journey. With respect for those who have the creativity and courage to invest in this competitive market sector where design of the space is such a major factor of the success.” – BCS

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Harper Signs understand that signs are an essential part of modern day life and the team at Harper Signs takes a real sense of pride and passion in every project. Each project is viewed from a fresh perspective and met with plenty of enthusiasm from a company that cares about customer needs and can translate ideas into reality.” – Harper Signs

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Special mentions also go to Halo who performed the lighting design and AV production on the night, SSE Audio – who provided the audio systems on the night and Scabetti who created the unique Awards prizes. All the official photography from the event is available on our Flickr page and was taken by James Newton and Richard Lewisohn.

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Food & Beverage Partners

The night’s fabulous cuisine and exquisite drinks were created by our Restaurant and Bar Partners: George’s Fish & Chips Kitchen, Iberica, Beef & Pudding, tincan, The Airport, Get Baked
Boki by Urban Villa and Holborn Dining Room.

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The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, now in its seventh year, is the only Awards in the world dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces. This covers every imaginable space, from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and from revered Michelin-starred establishments to the fleeting dynamism of pop-ups.

Judged by a panel of some of the most influential personalities in design, hospitality and lifestyle globally, this edition of the Awards attracted over 860 entries from the UK and 70 other countries.

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2015 (22) (James Newton Photographs)

All images © James Newton Photographs & Richard Lewisohn

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