NEO Restaurant – Shaping up to be a success
A brand new independent restaurant in Bournemouth, NEO Restaurant is an elegant all day diner providing the ideal spot for cocktails on the terrace, a light lunch or a three-course dinner. Inspired by its surroundings, the 160-cover restaurant presents spectacular views across Bournemouth seafront, creating a truly unique dining experience.
Responsible for the captivating design at NEO, Article Design Studio is a successful design practice that creates spaces with a preoccupation for product, detail and materials, producing cohesive and characterful interiors.
Katy Manolescue, Lead Designer at Article Design Studio, told Premier Hospitality:
“The project began onsite in January 2016; however the design process took place over several months prior to that. Developments were finalised in April this year.
“The feedback has been very good with both the design aspect and the food offering. The client was extremely pleased and it was fantastic to work with Tekne, a real quality shopfitter. The reviews have been very positive, which is great.”
NEO Restaurant is a fairly unusual architectural space given that most of the perimeter elevation is floor to ceiling glazing, which provides a fantastic view of Bournemouth seafront. The quality of natural light is most certainly the first noticeable thing about the space.
The main part of the building is spherical, which brought an usual and unique challenge when formulating the layout of the space. On the ground floor as customers walk in, they are greeted by a large, central circular bar which is the main feature on this particular floor, suitable for both dining and drinking. To the perimeter areas of the ground floor there are six to eight-seater booths placed in front of the kitchen in addition to a glorious feature wine store.
“We wanted to create connectivity between the ground floor and first floor areas, so we designed these bespoke art deco pendant light fittings that drop down from the first floor to the ground floor.
“With Bournemouth’s stylistic architectural history of having lots of art deco references, we went down a contemporary art deco route in terms of the concept for this restaurant to let the light and simplicity of the architecture speak for itself. We then simply added several refined references to art deco style.
“In addition to the pendant lighting we also designed a hexagonal lantern that sits centrally over the circular bar on the ground floor, illuminating the space below.”
Elements of geometry are incorporated into the space, portraying the NEO theme across the entire restaurant. A beautiful bespoke hexagonal tile design adorns the floor, made from small mosaics in an art deco colour palette – including black, cream and coral. From the first floor, customers can look down onto the mosaics and really appreciate this work of art.
Chic finishes include an attractive stained oak used for many of the joinery finishes, accented by a bespoke copper metallic finish which is unique to Tekne. The accents really stand out against a relevantly muted palette, giving the space a clean, timeless look.
Known for his Michelin Star background, Head Chef Chris Howard has devised a small range of menus including coffee and cake, sharing platters, express menu and the main menu. Innovative and classic cocktails are available whether as an accompaniment to the food or just for an evening sipping on new-found favourites with friends and family.
Premium casual dining would describe the restaurant accurately, with a convivial atmosphere, great hospitality and delicious food. Rainbow trout with brown shrimp butter, linguine with vine tomatoes asparagus and basil, and seafood tempura with hand cut chips are examples of the tasty treats available.
“I think the biggest challenge was balancing the existing architecture and making it into a fully functioning operational restaurant.
“It has meant a lot to be involved in this development, we had a very good dialogue with the client and to be involved with such a premium dining location for the city of Bournemouth was very exciting. I think the dining scene there is developing dramatically but Neo has provided an exciting new dining experience for the city so this was a great project to be a part of.”
Set up in 1997, Moordown Contractors are building service engineers, specialising in mechanical and electrical services including heating, plumbing and air conditioning. The company offers health and safety services that include the installation of fire alarms and emergency lighting and are a Gas Safe and Elecsa registered heating contractor.
Moordown Contractors provides services for commercial, industrial and residential projects and are specialists in the renewable energy sector. Projects have included Rick Stein’s highly-anticipated restaurant in Sandbanks, Poole and most recently, NEO restaurant in Bournemouth.
Christine Edwards of Moordown Contractors, said:
“Being part of the NEO project was important, as it provided us with an opportunity to extend our profile of works within the industry.”
“At Moordown Contractors we offer a full service design and installation, to meet our customers’ needs.”