A favourite of the British high street for over half a century, the Pizza Express brand continues to expand with a number of openings in 2017. One such opening was at The Lexicon Bracknell, a brand new £240 million retail and leisure town centre destination in Berkshire.
Having worked with Pizza Express on sites across the UK, awarding-winning interior design and architecture practice Quadrant Design was tasked with bringing the single storey space to life. The Quadrant team were given a brief to create a warm and inviting space that would be attractive throughout the year. Speaking to Premier Hospitality, Quadrant Design Director Matt Sears gave a guide around the restaurant:
“The project was a 9 week on site programme but we began work on the scheme around five to six months before we reached the construction stage. Given that the restaurant was due to be situated within a shopping centre there were design standards for the centre that needed to be considered, however, were not subject to the typical planning restrictions you might expect to encounter with a high street location.
“The scheme itself was focused on creating a cosy and inviting restaurant with design inspiration being taken from the nearby Swinley Forest. We developed bespoke artwork with the support of Elegant Clutter and this really was the drive behind the design.
“At the rear of the restaurant, we developed the design of the large kitchen counter to be as vibrant as possible so that it draws the eye the moment you walk through the door. It includes a bold yellow painted ceiling and birch ply panels around the counter front which have been laser cut to form a meandering abstract tree graphic. The rest of the space is divided through the use of comfortable booths and banquette seating. All of which was upholstered in a rich tan fabric and each area was made slightly more private through the use of rusted metalwork screens, adorned in planting.”
Further nods to Swinley Forest can be seen on the walls which are covered in a layered leaf artwork to capture some of the plant species found in there. Matt and the Quadrant team also made a conscious effort to avoid the usual problems that come with a long rectangular unit such as this. To avoid an open central area that customers want to avoid, a large ceiling feature in the form of a tree canopy has been added. The tree canopy is formed from a number of timber rafts that spread out from the middle of the restaurant and reduces the height of the restaurant to make it feel less expansive.
The new restaurant has so far proved to be a popular destination for shoppers at The Lexicon and marks another successful project between Quadrant and Pizza Express. Reflecting on this, Matt added:
“We love working with Pizza Express on these projects because every site throws up new challenges. We enjoy exploring design solutions that create new and original but comfortable spaces that keep customers coming back. It’s hugely important to continue the work with Pizza Express. They’re always presenting us with the opportunity to trial new ideas and make every restaurant very unique to the last.”
To view more Quadrant Design projects, please visit quadrantdesign.co.uk.