London & South East

Tramshed: The art of dining

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Tramshed - Shoreditch, London- Damien Hirst  2012

Housed within a Grade II Listed building in Shoreditch, London, Tramshed is the latest site from restaurateur Mark Hix and presents a unique dining experience which mixes fine cuisine with fine art.

The £1.5 million site opened in June 2012 and features stunning artwork by leading artist Damien Hirst, including a striking central sculpture featuring a cow and a chicken encased in glass.

Work began on Tramshed in January 2012 and reached completion in early June, just ahead of the restaurant’s grand opening. Tekne Shopfitting Ltd was the main contractor on Tramshed, whilst Waugh Thistleton provided all architectural services on the site.

Technical Services was responsible for all of the mechanical and electrical services on the project, whilst Pure CF manufactured and installed the site’s banquette seating.

Prior to work taking place on the project, the site was previously a disused industrial building so in order to transform the site into a fully functional diner the existing space had to be reworked to include a bar, lobby and kitchen, as well as dining space for guests.

Tramshed - Shoreditch, London- Damien Hirst  2012

A mezzanine level was installed to provide an elevated dining space for up to 40 guests, whilst a small private gallery – Cock ‘n’ Bull – was placed within the basement of the site. In addition, staff offices and a large plant area was also included in the basement level.

Angela Hopcraft, Waugh Thistleton, said:

“Waugh Thistleton was involved with Tramshed from the initial design stages through to construction and when designing the interior we wanted to ensure that the site would retain a very strong physical presence, without being too overpowering.

“The whole building acts like a machine, with lots of fully functional elements, such as the plant equipment which has been hidden within the building. As the chefs at Tramshed cook on open coals this plant is vital for the continued operation of the site and ensures that air can circulate and all of the cooking odours can be passed safely out of the building.”

Angela added:

“The site certainly has a masculine edge, including leather banquette seating, solid furniture, long tables and heavy detailing but the design always follows back through to the menu and the surrounding artwork.”

A very significant aspect of the Tramshed experience is its minimalist menu which comprises a selection of just a few dishes – sharing starters, a whole free-range chicken and a sirloin steak. To compliment this simple menu, the interior of restaurant includes very striking elements to stimulate conversation amongst diners.

A particular talking point of Tramshed is the site’s central sculpture, which stands proudly in the middle of the site and is visible from every seat in the restaurant. The sculpture – which contains just chicken and beef – is very much in keeping with the menu and is an instantly recognisable example of artist Damien Hirst’s work.

Tramshed - Shoreditch, London- Damien Hirst  2012

To compliment the sculpture, a painting – depicting cartoon characters Cow and Chicken – covers the wall on the mezzanine level.

Angela said:

“The central sculpture was created specifically for Tramshed and incorporates the chicken and beef theme perfectly.

“As Mark Hix is also very interested in art it was very important for him to install a small gallery below the restaurant where diners can discuss other works of art after dinner.”

Although work was conducted on the interior of the building, work to the exterior of the site was kept to a minimum and simply involved minor decoration works and the installation of associated signage.

Now that Tramshed is open the restaurant serves guests from 12pm daily, whilst a takeaway service is available Monday to Friday from 11am.

Angela said:

“When working on Tramshed it was important for us to make strong, bold moves, that could demonstrate to diners that the building had undergone a refurbishment, but at the same time create an understanding that we have not interfered with the existing structure.

“As the building is listed we couldn’t make too many alterations, so we used these restrictions to enhance the work that we could conduct. In fact this proved very useful and allowed us to show off elements of the building that would have otherwise been hidden.”

Angela added:

“We have completed works on many restaurants in the past, but none quite as large as this and none in quite such a lovely building as this.

“The feedback has been fantastic and the site is doing really well. I’ve been to the restaurant a couple of times since it opened and it is always very busy, so I know that our client is very happy.”

Tramshed - Shoreditch, London- Damien Hirst  2012

Cock ‘n’ Bull

Housed within the basement of Tramshed, Cock ‘n’ Bull is a small private gallery showcasing a stunning array of exhibitions. The gallery is open daily between 11am and 6pm, with exhibitions appearing on a six week rotation basis and can accommodate up to 100 guests.

In addition to gallery space, Cock ‘n’ Bull also includes a curated library. The library includes an ever-expanding collection of books, hand-picked by leading experts and organised along topics of interest, making it a truly unique place of discovery.

Mark Hix

With over 17 years of experience, restaurateur Mark Hix has become well known in the industry for his take on British cuisine. In 2008, Hix opened his first restaurant in Smithfield – Hix Oyster & Chop House – and has since opened additional sites including Hix Oyster & Fish House, HIX Mayfair, the award-winning Mark’s Bar and of course Tramshed.

As well as being one of London’s most highly regarded restaurateurs, Mark Hix is also an author of numerous British cuisine cookbooks as well as a columnist in The Independent and Esquire.

Technical Services (Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Ltd)

Technical Services (Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Ltd) are a specialist catering equipment, refrigeration, mechanical and electrical building services design and installation company working in a variety of sectors including; restaurants, private members clubs, casinos, leisure centres, commercial offices, retail, education, local authority and residential. The company has been in operation for over 25 years and prides itself on project commissions primarily from repeat works with existing clients as well as from recommendations to new clients.

On the Grade II Listed Hix Tramshed Restaurant on Garden walk and Rivington Street, Technical Services were responsible for the ventilation systems that required careful acoustic design and installation, as well as a specialist kitchen extract air purification system, all to meet stringent local authority and planning requirements.

Technical Services MD Andrew Parton said:

“We have worked extremely hard building up a strong working relationship with all our clients, and have had the privilege to have been involved with some of the most iconic restaurants in London.

“Working with Hix Restaurants on this project has been challenging, working closely with Mark and Ratnesh; we were brought in to assist their appointed Design and Contracting team as part of an intense programme to meet specific local authority design & operational requirements for the Hix kitchen working environment, having worked with Westminster and London City Councils on other very sensitive sites.

“It has been a real pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic client who is constantly striving to create something very special, whilst being sympathetic to legislature and in keeping with the local surroundings.”

Eximius Projects Ltd

For over four years, Eximius Projects Ltd has specialised in the design, build and installation of restaurant kitchens in the leisure and hospitality industries. The company has worked on many high-end projects in the past, with clients including Selfridges, Soho House and Caprice Holdings.

Working on Tramshed, Eximius Projects Ltd was responsible for the design, supply and installation of all kitchen and bar equipment on the site, including bespoke grills for cooking both the chicken and beef dishes.

Eximius Projects Ltd Company Director, James Lee, said:

“Tramshed is very unique in its concept as it has quite a limited menu. So we designed the kitchen accordingly, which allows the equipment to produce high quality dishes without the need to be kitted out for a large range of meals.”

James added:

“At Eximius Projects we work with many high-end restaurateurs and we always enjoy a challenge. The restricted menu gave us the opportunity to come up with a very functional and efficient working space.”

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