Architects and designers (Neil Hogan, Brendan Heath, Adam Woodward) at SHH have created a new fascia and interior design treatment for Apostrophe at the operator’s latest outlet in London’s High Holborn. Here is their result.
The design for the High Holborn branch features adaptations of the classic black, pink and walnut brand palette, as well as new materials and features, including a pink-screened baking area, which underlines product transparency by opening up the baking process to customers; elements of bespoke furniture; grey ceramic ‘Royal Mosa’ tiling and the Bourellec Brothers’ ‘Clouds’ wall hanging, used in two of the café’s seating zones.
‘Much of our client’s business involves customers consuming food and drink on site rather than to take away,’ comments project head Brendan Heath from SHH. ‘Unlike many other operators who rely on a rush of grab & go take-away business, Apostrophe seeks to attract customers to its stores throughout the day by offering free WiFi and complimentary newspapers, as well as playing carefully-selected background music. The aim is to have a busy but relaxed and inviting ambience, where people genuinely feel at ease and are happy to spend time.’
The existing 155 sq m site for the new outlet was an empty shell, created as part of a series of upgraded retail units within an overall building refurbishment scheme. The site was challenging as it was long and narrow, so all operational issues had to be carefully considered by the operator, together with the SHH team. A planning application for the signage and fascia treatment also had to be submitted to and was subsequently accepted by Camden Council. The solution for the site involved a careful division between operational and customer areas in order to avoid constriction in the narrower rear zone along with several seating zones were created.
Fascia and projected signage were both needed to give the narrow site as much visibility as possible. The main sign is in black with an overlaid pink brand sign with text in white and black, along with Apostrophe’s tagline – ‘the accent is on taste’ - in white.
Client Amir Chen of Apostrophe talks about the project and says: ‘I found working with SHH enjoyable and easy. There was seamless interaction between their design and architectural teams, with both providing construction inputs into what was a fairly challenging brief. In particular, my desire to achieve a highly-designed environment within the operational and budgetary constraints of our market was met with enthusiasm and a practical approach.’
Photography by Francesca Yorke
SHH is an architects’ practice and interior and branding design consultancy, formed in 1992 by the three principals of the practice: Chairman David Spence, Managing Director Graham Harris and Creative Director Neil Hogan. With a highly international workforce and portfolio, the company initially made its name in ultra-high-end residential schemes, before extending its expertise to include leisure, workspace and retail schemes. The company’s leisure CV includes McDonald’s breakthrough Oxford Street flagship restaurant, winner of 6 international design awards; new concept Teaspoon tea rooms in Russia; school dining areas for The School Food Trust and award-winning leisure centres for LA Fitness and 37°. SHH’s work has appeared in leading design and lifestyle publications all over the world, including VOGUE and ELLE DECO in the UK, Artravel and AMC in France, Frame in Holland, Monitor in Russia, DHD in Switzerland, ELLE DECO in India, Habitat in South Africa, Contemporary Home Design in Australia, IDS in Malaysia and Architectural Digest in both France and Russia, with over 100 projects also published in 50 leading book titles worldwide.
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