The latest offering from premium hospitality group rhubarb, VIVI, has opened to the public. The 290-cover, all-day restaurant is the flagship dining destination within the much-anticipated Centre Point revival.
Totalling 16,000 square foot, VIVI occupies the main floor of the bridge link at Centre Point, overlooking London’s newest square and Oxford Street. The menu at VIVI has been inspired by the 1960s and this also forms the basis of the venue’s design, which was led by London-based Gordon Young Architects (formerly SAY Architects).
Having previously not worked with rhubarb, Gordon Young Architects initially discussed the project in September 2015 and developed a design from there. Ahead of the highly anticipated opening, Premier Hospitality spoke to Gordon Young Architects Director Gordon Young about the restaurant’s look:
“The design takes inspiration from the 1960s. Centre Point is an iconic building that was completed in 1966. We referred back to that era as we felt it was appropriate and respectful to the building, as well as being a fun reference for the interior fit out.
“In terms of the actual restaurant itself it is playful. It is a nod to the colours and designs of the ‘60s with touches of glamour.
“The restaurant is a large space. Part of our brief is to provide individual areas that harmonise with each other but still have their distinctive identities. The building itself is listed so we had to be respectful of that. It also has two lower side galleries which overlook the new public plaza and onto New Oxford Street. On the southern lower side of the restaurant is what we refer to as the ‘Liquid Lounge’. This area is more feminine in terms of tones, colours and the type of furniture we’re putting in that area. On the northern lower side, the “Gallery”, this feels more masculine and offers quick turnaround in terms of dining.
“Within the main dining space, the design and mood is reminiscent of a 1960s dance hall. There is a glamorous bar at one end and walnut and rose coloured mirrored feature wall at the other end. Above the main dining area, there is a feature chandelier by a Danish designer called Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt. The initial reference for that feature was the 1960s toy, Play Plax.”
VIVI at Centre Point offers an all-day menu of nostalgic, delicious, British dishes modernised for today. The all-day menu will run from breakfast to brunch, lunch to afternoon tea and dinner to bar bites. Highlights from the menus include; Keen’s twice baked cheddar soufflé; Cauliflower cheese croquettes, Lea & Perrins; Chicken Kiev, fries, vinegar “salt & shake”; VIVI artic roll, raspberry & lemon; Jelly & custard, strawberry, vanilla custard, Victoria Sponge.
PB Jacobse, Managing Director at rhubarb, said: “We are delighted to be developing another distinctive new food and drink concept in what is one of the London’s most iconic buildings. We have every confidence that VIVI will reflect the creativity, style and precision synonymous with the rhubarb brand.”
Since its construction in the 1960s, Centre Point has stood as one of London’s best known landmarks. The building was designed by architect Richard Seifert and while at the time was considered controversial; Centre Point has gradually come to be recognised as something worth preserving. This was confirmed in 1995 when the building was granted protected status by English Heritage.
Property investment and development company Almacantar is responsible for the transformation of Centre Point. Alongside VIVI, Centre Point will boast 82 apartments with a new square at the base of the skyscraper. The new square will be located next to the Crossrail entrance at Tottenham Court Road and will create a link between Fitzrovia and Covent Garden.
Reflecting on the importance of the project, Gordon added:
“When you look back on the initial concept, we haven’t lost too many of the initial ideas, that is rewarding. Of course to see the whole Centre Point be redeveloped back to its original intention to be the centre of London, and be part of that development, is also very gratifying.”
To find out more about the offering at VIVI, please visit www.vivirestaurant.co.uk.
rhubarb is a premium hospitality group in the UK. rhubarb’s portfolio includes a number of well-known restaurants in London including Sky Garden, CODA by Eric Chavot and Verdi Italian Kitchen at the Royal Albert Hall. rhubarb announced in 2017 that it will open two restaurants and an extraordinary event space at Hudson Yards, New York, a new neighbourhood rising on Manhattan’s West Side. This will be the first international location for the revered London hospitality group. Both venues will open in 2019.
As the accredited caterer at over 60 venues across London and the home counties, rhubarb is dedicated to delivering bespoke menus, creative flair and seamless service for over 20 years, with committed event planning offices in both London and Surrey. rhubarb manages up to 1000 events every year, from large scale galas through to intimate weddings and high-profile parties.
Versital UK specialise in the manufacture of made-to-order surfaces for use within the hospitality and leisure industry. The company has been in operation for more than 30 years and within this time has gained a reputation for delivering true-to-life marble finishes, popular for bar tops, table tops and washroom vanities.
Over the years, Versital UK has built up an enviable portfolio completing projects for The Andaz London, Mitchells and Butlers, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Greenwich Peninsula, Yates, Heathrow Airport and even the Big Brother House. For the past two years, the company has also been involved with the new premium pub roll-out for leading hospitality brand, Mitchells & Butlers as well as the Cookhouse and pub for Whitbread.
Most recently, Versital UK has been involved with the brand new VIVI restaurant by rhubarb – supplying bespoke bar tops and table tops with metal edge banding. The site utilised Versital’s brand new Metal Edge banded table tops throughout the restaurant, as well as tops and shelves for the bar and back bar area of the main section.
Gemma Stockberger, Versital UK, said:
“We were delighted to work with Gordon Young at Gordon Young Architects, being specified on this beautifully designed project. rhubarb are well renowned for creating exciting and innovative eating experiences and we couldn’t be happier to be involved with them on this project in the heart of London.”
“All our surfaces are handcrafted with care and it’s fantastic to see them used on this prestigious project that shows them at their best. We cannot wait to visit the restaurant and bar after the grand opening and enjoy a cocktail at one of our gorgeous marble and metal banded table tops!”
Noble Russell was recently commissioned by regular clients WFC to produce ten elegant bespoke banquette seating units for VIVI, the flagship restaurant at Centre Point created by rhubarb.
Designed by the award-winning Gordon Young Architects, VIVI is a lively but stylish new all-day brasserie based in the iconic Centre Point Building on Oxford Street. Taking inspiration from the decade the Centre Point Building was constructed in – VIVI’s design has been heavily influenced by the swinging 60s.
Six beautiful bespoke seating units were required for the Liquid lounge. These are semi-circular in shape and upholstered in soft blush Ultra leather and stand on a satin brushed brass plinth.
In the stunning main dining area, four elegant seating units have been upholstered in Alcantara fabric and feature polished brass tops and arm details. They also include show wood in American black walnut – stained to match the sixties period timber within the dining area and finished in a high gloss. The bespoke banquettes sit neatly on plinths finished in a bronze powder coat.
The custom-made seating was completed and installed by Noble Russell’s professional team on time and within budget, ready for the restaurant’s late summer opening.
Noble Russell is a contract furniture company specialising in the creation of exceptional bespoke products. They have dedicated themselves to over 25 years of furniture design and production, providing customers with the highest quality service.
More information on Noble Russell can be found on their website: www.noblerussell.co.uk.
Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt
Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt hand builds exclusive one-off lamps in Plexiglas and brass, which are reminiscent of 1960s Italian design, Art Deco and modernism. With an experienced eye, developed over her long and esteemed practice as a maker and designer, Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt creates lamps in a new idiom that stands at the intersection of art, craft and design.
For the VIVI restaurant, Vibeke created a light installation constructed of 22 TERN lights gathered in a ceiling plate. The lamps have a complex sculptural tactility, as the Plexiglas elements fold and unfold in a carefully choreographed practice at the intersection of mathematics and art.