In April 2014 an exciting addition to the Spinningfields scene opened – The Lawn Club. The restaurant bar originally appeared in its initial pop-up-bar status under a different name, Bloom.
This was a trendy, little summer bar that opened S/S ’13 and then morphed into the chic Hibernate for winter – incorporating log burners, rustic lighting and contemporary interior twists. Operated by Fluid Bars, The Lawn Club now remains as a permanent restaurant bar in Manchester.
The menu has been created by former head chef of the Hilton, David Gale, and is completely locally sourced which enhances the quintessentially English element of the venue; mainly comprising of sharing platters and delicious light snacks, all expertly prepared, cooked and presented. Meanwhile, the venue’s design is an accomplished collaboration between James Darwent Architecture and Soo Wilkinson of Igloo Interior Design. The workforce behind this transformation, that took place over a six week period only, was a dedicated team of four expert joiners lead by Mark Cooper of Helm Joinery. Helm Joinery have a varied and interesting portfolio ranging from theatre set construction to boat construction, which made them perfect for The Lawn Club’s demanding workload.
The structure of the building is formed from a prefabricated timber frame for the main bar, which was raised from panels on site. These are clad in a single ply roof and a black UV tolerant breather membrane over the walls.
The building is then entirely covered in a mixture of split hazel hurdle fencing panels and 3m tall ivy plants to form green walls. This particular material was selected for its sustainability and the fact it was able to be source in Britain – readily available from farms in Somerset. The elegant hand woven finish creates the appearance of a wicker basket which adds to the outdoortheme.
The interior of the Lawn Club has been devised to represent the experience of a colonial inspired pavilion and outdoor garden terrace, but with the sense of relaxation and cosiness created by additions such as cushions and candles on the tables.
The restaurant bar has its own innovative features such as giant swinging wicker chairs, padded wooden tree stumps, benches to sit on and large open log burners; all contributing to a rustic, al fresco theme. The tables are cleverly dotted with daisies and include fake grass runners. Then there are hanging baskets and fairy lights – more elements of the British themed décor.
The Lawn Club covers the full length of The Lawns at Spinningfields and has been significantly extended from the previous bar, ‘Hibernate’. Split into three sections, the main bar area is light and airy with palm fans hanging within roof lanterns, The Orangery central section perpetuates the outdoor theme, with wicker furniture and House of Hackney furnishings and an outside area with olive trees under timber pergolas.
Toward the back of the restaurant is the open kitchen, giving customers the chance to observe the live cooking environment and watch their food being made. There is a retractable roof at the heart of the building, which allows customers to appreciate the British summer sun along with multiple French doors along the southern façade that open onto the lawns and take in events such as the open air cinema every Thursday evening.
The exterior of the building resembles an enormous wicker basket and includes a decking area with ivy green walls and hanging baskets to greet guests at the entrance.
James Darwent, the architect of the project, said:
“Having been given the opportunity to bid for the prominent Spinningfields site, I conceived the garden pavilion concept along with my colleague James Wrigley of Fluid Bars, fighting off more established competition to commission the project. We worked in partnership along with the design team to create a venue that was both striking, classy and a welcome retreat, but also able to cater for up to 2000 people. It was a great collaboration between a bar operator, interior designer and myself as architect, resulting in a successful permanent bar. We have had fabulous feedback so far; the place has clearly been very well received.”
Eco Frames Ltd
Eco Frames Ltd Specialise in design, manufacture and supply of tin frame building construction, and aim to build in the most environmentally friendly way possible using carbon negative materials such as timber. The company source construction products locally to reduce transport which in turn helps the environment too.
Eco Frames Ltd have been in operation for around six years. In this time, the company have completed projects for a number of residential companies, focussing on environmentally sensitive areas and bespoke works. For the Lawn Club, Eco Frames Ltd supplied and directed the structural timber frames.
Andrew Mason, Director of Eco Framed Ltd said: “We pride ourselves in being environmentally friendly. We feel the environmentally friendly aspect of other companies is yet to come, so we’ve put ourselves out there first.”