CCS is a small design practice specialised in restaurant and bar design and, lately, as part of Theleisureway team, in spaces dedicated to leisure, at the crossroads between public space, object and interior design. CCS is led by Corvin Cristian, a designer trained as architect who worked for 10 years as a production designer or art director for feature films.
How do you think great food and great interior design are linked?
When they combine, this is Alchemy: an enhanced experience superior to each of them taken separately.
Design Excellence could be maximum effect with minimum means; simplicity and elegance, but it could also be an apparently nonsensical clutter that charms us. It could mean being in the forefront, being flamboyant, doing things never done before but, depending on the project, could just as well mean taking a step back, knowing when to be understated, almost anonymous. But it always comes from a deep understanding of people’s needs.
Which area(s) of the world do you see as the best for new F&B concepts?
Apart of the obvious answer that each area is interesting in its own way and it’s difficult to prioritise one or another, there’s something more: it is said that the most refined cuisines are developed out of scarcity. National signature dishes are also the byproduct of poverty, like the pizza, the escargots or the paella. So, following the same logic in operating and design, maybe we should be looking in some less favoured areas of the globe for the emergence of the greatest concepts.
What has been your most challenging project to date and why?
I’d say the Casa Boema one. At stake was a building with an important history for the city. The mix and match of a gothic pattern from a catholic cathedral and synagogue benches, combined with vernacular traditional Romania was a risky one than only proved to be well balanced at the very end.
What challenges are unique to hospitality / food and beverage space design?
Apart from functional issues that are common for any architectural or interior design project, great hospitality design involves the ineffable value of atmosphere and feeling. Sometimes, as it happens with food, we will only find out at the very end if the recipe was successful.
Where does your inspiration come from?
It could come from different sources, when it comes. It could elude us, it often does. It could be the strong genius loci, the menu, or simply a hobby of the client that he did not consider important or even an old obsession. It can come from wherever, it’s never certain, and there is no recipe of how to find the Big Idea. It’s always a surprise and a matter of joy when or if it comes.
What do you think will be the most significant design trends in the near future for restaurant and bar design?
I’m anxious to find out myself.
Predicting design trends is a bit like predicting economic trends: unless predicted by the ones generating them, it rarely conforms. (And they are very easy to explain afterwards).
What would be the biggest benefit to you in winning an award from the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards?
Building our reputation and consequently our client’s trust.