The comprehensive refurbishment of aqua nueva Restaurant in London’s Regent Street has dramatically transformed the 3,000 sq ft Spanish venue, opening up the internal space and using the rich colours, patterns, forms and textures of Spain to dynamically inform the impressive new interior.
The metamorphosis of this elegant, contemporary restaurant, set in a dramatic space on the top floor of the former Dickins & Jones building in the heart of London’s West End, is complemented by a new menu from head chef Alberto Hernandez. The new menu has been designed to reflect the current appetite for more flexible dining, with a menu of small plates and Spanish dishes that honour Spain’s culinary heritage and innovation.
So how was aqua nueva’s amazing transformation accomplished? Robert Angell, managing director of Robert Angell Design International, lead designers for the project takes up the story:
“We carried out a total refurbishment of the venue with a brief from the proprietors to give the restaurant and bar a whole new look and bring in a new energy.
“The interior has been completely stripped out and refurbished. We have taken our inspiration for the new design from Spanish culture, with bullfighting being one of the prevalent influences. Keynotes of the interior design include black and white mosaics, fretca pierced leather panels with a lacework pattern, and a colour scheme incorporating rich burgundy, gold, white and blacks to elegantly suggest colours associated with Spain.
“We have changed everything internally, giving the venue a brand new look and feel – new flooring, lighting, seating, new building services and a new kitchen with metal framed internal windows allowing diners to see the food being prepared.
“The flooring is black, white and burgundy, and, taking our inspiration from a Spanish sherry barrel, we have created a striking copper coloured barrel vaulted ceiling in the restaurant.
“Specially commissioned ornate metalwork decorative screens reminiscent of the gates of Spanish villas has been created to provide a beautiful backdrop to the restaurant’s wine stores and the new bespoke banquette seating.”
A brand new central feature bar has also been installed, over which hangs an amazing twisted metal gold leaf covered bespoke chandelier, featuring a design based on the movement of the horns of Spanish bulls. All of the remaining light fittings installed have also been specially designed by the Robert Angell team, as has the seating and almost all of the other interior decorative features, fixtures and fittings.
One of the challenges of the contract was keeping to a very tight 10 week schedule with the team working 24/7 to remain on programme. Another challenge was that the restaurant shares an entrance with aqua nueva’s Japanese sister restaurant next door, aqua kyoto, which meant that it was used both as access for building work out of hours at night, reverting to a restaurant entrance during the day – and so co-ordination of the two functions was also very demanding.
“The project has gone like clockwork with a great team working together. We have had a very good client to work with and we also made sure that we had the right people on the project, working to detailed information with good planning and co-ordination throughout,” said Robert Angell.
Capturing the essence of contemporary Spanish dining, the newly evolved aqua nueva answers the capital’s demand for high quality regional fare, in a sleek and elegant setting.
WFC acted as the main contractor on this programme, delivering the £1.6 million scheme of works in in seven weeks with a minimal mobilisation and lead in period. Nick Moffat, Contracts Director for this project from WFC commented:
“Having previously worked with Aqua in 2013 whilst delivering levels 31 & 33 of the shard, it was essential that we were able to meet the programme and budget requirements on this particular project. Our willingness to tackle these challenges meant the project was handed over on time, and within budget.”
Noble Russell manufactures seventy metres of bespoke seating for the Robert Angell Design International project ‘Aqua Nueva’
Noble Russell were delighted to have been asked by WFC and Robert Angell Design International, to manufacture seventy metres of bespoke banquette seating for the refurbishment of the prestigious Spanish restaurant, Aqua Nueva. Located on Regent Street, London, the fine dining restaurant is part of the unique venue Aqua London, which includes the Aqua Spirit roof top bar and Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto. Aqua London is part of the acclaimed Aqua Restaurant Group which has several high-profile locations worldwide.
Robert Angell Design International has designed an ‘exciting new space, inspired by historic Spain and its sun-drenched streets. An elegant palette for furniture of burgundy, dark stained wood will be flattered by champagne gold leafed metal gates, limed dark timber walls and copper leafed ceiling complemented by beautiful herring bone timber floor and mosaic patterns to dining room.’
Noble Russell alongside Robert Angell Design International initially developed a prototype for the bespoke banquette. The prototype allowed the client to approve the design, durability and comfort of the seating before going into manufacture.
The stylish seating is constructed on a frame of oak which has been stained dark using a specialist triple process and has show wood inlaid with brass details. The seventy metres of seating has been upholstered in fine grade Italian burgundy leather. Back seat pads fabricated in dark tan saddle leather and finished with white stitching detail and brass studs, cleverly strap around the seats. The elegant seating is capped with fiddle joints assembled from solid brass with a distressed antique finish and wrapped in fine leather.
Noble Russell manufactured, delivered and installed the bespoke seating on time and within budget.
Robert Angell commented: “We worked closely with Noble Russell throughout the design process and they managed to interpret and deliver some of the more challenging and intricate details of the furniture, which included wrapping leather straps to fiddle rails and hand trialling the stitched saddles to the backs of the banquettes. This coupled with their expertise allowed for timely delivery and a fabulous end result.”
The refurbished Aqua Nueva restaurant opened in mid-June. More information on Noble Russell can be found on their new website: www.noblerussell.co.uk.