Mizzi Studios was formed by architect Jonathan Mizzi, in a bid to create exciting, innovative projects across a plethora of sectors.
Recently Mizzi Studio’s involvement in The Pheasantry, transforming the café-come-restaurant into a brand new destination venue, and Samba Swirl, creating the chain’s fourth store, has seen both projects shortlisted in this year’s Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.
Jonathan Mizzi has a passion for futurism, science and nature and these passions characterise the studio’s design ethos. The multi-disciplinary practice undertakes a range of projects ranging from architecture, industrial design, lighting, interactive design and commercial artworks.
The Pheasantry, in Teddington is situated in Bushy Park; the second largest of the capital’s eight Royal Parks, has been completely transformed into a new standalone restaurant and café. The venue lies in the same spot of the park’s previous catering offer, but that is all the two buildings have in common. Mizzi Studios were awarded the contract to revamp the space and make the building blend into its environment, as well as enhance the catering and visitor’s experience.
Main contractors YKG Contractors worked alongside Mizzi Studios to undertake the project which began on site in January 2013 and reached completion in May of the same year. Internally, everything was stripped out and on the building’s exterior the old, existing front canopy was removed. The venue’s ceiling has been punctured with natural skylights making the space feel extremely organic and in touch with its surroundings.
The materials and colour palette used inside The Pheasantry also correlate with the natural landscape surrounding the venue. Timber has been utilised and the walls have been painted a light green so that the space feels like an extension of being in the park.
The renovation of the space has doubled the amount of covers available and improved the catering facilities no end. The service was maxed out previously and now the diverse spaces allow for a growing amount of visitors, as well as a lovely, faster service. The restaurant and cafe venue offers an all day dining facility serving up an array of grab-and-go sandwiches, paninis and cakes, as well as offering an a la carte menu for those who would prefer a more formal outing.
There were some design and construction challenges during the project due to the sensitive nature of the site. As the development is slap bang in the centre of Bushy Park the design team had to undertake a rigorous planning process. The project was finally approved by Richmond Council after a lengthy procedure working closely with arboricultural consultants to ensure that none of the existing trees would be compromised by the development.
Despite the challenges the project posed, and the limited budget of £300,000 The Pheasantry was completed successfully, on time and in budget. Samba Swirl is another project in which Mizzi Studio played a key role and has been shortlisted alongside The Pheasantry in the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. The creation of Samba Swirl’s fourth store was an important project for the frozen yoghurt chain as they were keen to completely rebrand their identity.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Jonathan Mizzi, Director of Mizzi Studio, to find out more about the project. He said:
“The venue’s design was inspired by Rio De Janeiro carnivals held in the favellas and mixed with a London high street feel. The venue is covered in colourful geometric patterns found in Brazilian design and architecture. The LED lighting is also an impressive design feature which also acts as a functional way of directing customers through the store to the main access points.
“The venue is fitted with a concrete floor which makes the space feel like an extension of the street, as do the shacks of timber and the central piece of stainless steel in the shop.”
The onsite team encountered some difficulties with the fabrication process, as well as with the LED lighting programming. Despite these challenges Jonathon said the project was an extremely exciting one to be involved with. He added:
“It was great for us to be involved with Samba Swirl and The Pheasantry and it means a lot for us to have been short listed in this year’s Restaurant & Bar Design Awards for both venues. It is a big achievement and the publicity has been fantastic for us.”