An evolution at Harvey Nichols
The ultimate stylish new cafe and bar destination Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen has just opened within the Menswear department at the exclusive Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbridge.
Beautifully designed down to the last detail, the new venue is located in the lower ground floor 109 room and is fully integrated with – and central to – the contemporary new Menswear department which has just been completed on that floor.
The new venue, together with the remainder of the Menswear department – was created by architects and designers Carlos Virgile, Director, and Ewald Damien, Partner of Virgile & Partners.
Main contractors for all the works were Portview Fit-Out Ltd, who have been praised for the high standard of their work.
Serving everything from breakfast and lunch to late night cocktails, The Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen has its own dedicated entrance and is open independently of the main store’s hours.
It is the final space to be completed in the store’s open plan Menswear department redevelopment.
According to Virgile and Partners: the brief was to “create a cafe and late night cocktail bar, acting as a meeting place for socialising and evening shopping as part of a self-contained boutique that should encapsulate the essence of what is new and fun.
“The café and bar needed to work almost in isolation, as a destination in its own merit creating a real attraction as well as a direct access to the new Menswear department.”
The cafe serves everything from a breakfast menu right through to late night cocktails, celebrating classics from some of the world’s 50 Best Bars, as well as craft wines and beers and food.
Carlos Virgile Head of Virgile & Partners said: “This project was the last part of our complete redevelopment of the Menswear department, which involved a full initial strip out and reconfiguration of the entire lower ground floor. The idea of the new design for this floor was to integrate retail and hospitality – and the new cafe and bar is therefore at the centre of the retail area and an important element of the overall design.
“This concept is an interesting idea which allows customers to enjoy refreshments or a cocktail and to shop within the same area.”
The 30 – 40 covers cafe, which includes a combination of moveable and banquette seating, is designed to transform from a daytime cafe to a late night bar, which is open at different hours to the rest of the store. Lighting is therefore an important part of the scheme and has been designed to change the atmosphere of the space according to the time of day or evening.
Carlos Virgile added: “The overall look is cool, contemporary and semi-industrial, in keeping with the remainder of the retail area. One of the main features is the flooring where we used a combination of different colour marbles in a type of ‘crazy paving’ layout – and this adds a lot of character and individual style to the scheme.
“The walls and ceilings feature a textured plaster finish and the overall colour palette is generally in light grey and blue – with further colour accents including terracotta, green and black being added by the flooring.”
The works also included the installation of a new kitchen to prepare a light menu of interesting small plates and snacks, as well as a bar.
In addition, a huge digital screen promoting the new space and also visible from the street has been installed on the sidewall of the new staircase leading to the lower ground floor.
“This fast track project has gone well, we have very good contractors in the project’s team and we are now progressing, together with them, to refurbish the upper levels of the store,” said Carlos Virgile.
“This was a very important and exciting project which is part of the evolution of the Harvey Nichols brand,” he added.
Simon Campbell, managing director of Portview Fit-Out Ltd said: “We have been working with Harvey Nichols for around 5 years, having first encountered them in an open tender situation and developed a close working relationship from then on with various projects over the years. On the back of this we were invited to work on the Knightsbridge store Menswear department scheme, which is part of a larger redevelopment of the store which we are carrying out.
“This is a very important client for us and we are hugely proud of our relationship with Harvey Nichols and all of the projects which we have completed for them. We believe that we are only as good as our last project – and this one, which involved working on an old building, has been extremely challenging.
“We have an excellent working relationship with Virgile and Partners and the whole project team, and the feedback which we have received from our client on this scheme has been extremely positive.”
Working primarily for high-end clients across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, luxury interior fit out specialists Portview have been established for over 40 years.
Other current schemes include a project involving fitting out the hospitality areas at the Olympic Stadium, as well as projects for various prestigious stores in Bond Street, and the fit out of a new flagship store for an American brand just opened in Regent Street.