Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen
A little over a year since opening, Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen has now been recognised with a place on the Restaurant and Bar Design Award shortlist. The project is up against stiff competition, but is looking to secure an accolade within the ‘Best Restaurant or Bar in a Retail Space’ category.
The ultimate stylish cafe and bar destination, Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen opened in May 2016 within the Menswear department at the exclusive Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbridge. Beautifully designed down to the last detail, the venue is located in the lower ground floor 109 room and is fully integrated with – and central to – the contemporary Menswear department which was completed on that floor at the same time.
Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen, 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 were 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.
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. 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 space is visible from the street and was installed on the sidewall of the new staircase leading to the lower ground floor.
Portview is a multi-award winning fit-out specialist, that manages interior projects for some of the world’s most prestigious brands. The company has been in operation for more than 40 years and within this time has built up an excellent reputation within the industry.
Past projects for Portview have included London Stadium: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London; Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazar: 16 Manesty’s Lane, Liverpool; The Whisky Shop: Place de la Madeleine, Paris; and Oscar de la Renta: Mount Street, London, amongst others. A recent project for Portview is The Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen.
In 2015, Harvey Nichols appointed Portview to transform the Menswear department for its flagship store in Knightsbridge. As the first step of the ambitious modernisation, the 28,000 sq ft two main lower-ground levels had to become the definitive expression of contemporary luxury and redefine the Harvey Nichols shopping experience. To further enhance the store’s offering, the brief also encompassed the fit-out of the ultra-cool Wallpaper Bar + Kitchen.
Collaborating with designers Virgile + Partners, Portview created a self-contained, chic and modern bar, where style savvy shoppers can socialise and enjoy a sumptuous cocktail after some retail therapy. The double height entrance and digital screen are visible from the street, creating visual drama and inviting shoppers to explore inside the store, be inspired, and enjoy.
The design uses bright colour terrazzo tiles, textured plaster surfaces and contemporary furniture communicating the edgy spirit of the Harvey Nichols brand at its best.
Simon Campbell, Managing Director of Portview, said:
“When it comes to high-end fit-outs, Portview is world class. That’s why exclusive brands like Harvey Nichols, Tiffany & Co, and Wembley Stadium entrust us with their projects, for they know they’ll receive a highly-specialised service that steps outside the realms of possibility.
“Our discerning clients only expect the best, so our priority is to ensure we fulfil their wishes by providing an entirely bespoke service that will transform their ambitious design concepts into a reality.”
“We pride ourselves in offering clients a truly exceptional experience like no other. Working across the retail, stadia, hospitality and corporate sectors, we deliver award-winning projects that have established Portview as a world leader in revolutionary interior fit-out and project management.”