Hide is a new 13,500 square feet, dramatic three-level restaurant and bar situated in Mayfair opposite Green Park.
Our client, Hedonism Wines had an ambition to create ‘a restaurant like no other’ to be one of the best dining experiences in London, combining food by Michelin star chef, Ollie Dabbous, a world class wine list and a complimentary, magical interior evoking a sense of wonder and discovery.
A grand Victorian mansion previously stood on the site by the architect John Norton (1823-1904), and was later occupied by the Turf Club for ninety years.
The mansion was demolished in the mid-1960s, leaving just the under pavement vaults and replaced by a concrete frame, 10 storey brutalist style building, first used as a car showroom with residential apartments and later converted into restaurant and nightclub spaces.
Lustedgreen were Lead Consultant, responsible for the architectural design, detailing and co-ordinating all aspects of the project, working closely with These White Walls developing the interior design scheme and other specialist consultants on structural changes, MEP services, lighting and kitchen designs.
The existing building facade to the commercial floors was a heavy monolithic granite mass with small single glazed apertures which has been stripped back and opened up to bring daylight in and enhance the magnificent views out over Green Park. The remaining structure has been clad in textured open cast bronze panels by FSE Foundry, each one unique, with thermal and acoustically enhanced triple glazed windows inserted in between.
The building posed some difficult problems to incorporate a 3 level restaurant (Above, Ground and Below) with an ambition to be one of the best restaurants in London. The ceiling heights were low, the 3 floors disconnected and there was very restricted access to the external space for mechanical plant. In response, working with Structural Engineers, Heyne Tillett Steel, the interior space was drastically remodelled. The ground floor slab was raised to provide more basement height and to bring level with the street. A large gently curving void was cut into the mezzanine slab creating a dramatic double height space, forming the heart of the restaurant.
The main circulatory staircase was moved from the periphery to both open out the glazed facades and create a central vortex of movement connecting the three floors, gently leading the guest around the different spaces. Here the rectilinear character of the building softens to a sinuous flow, organic ceiling and wall forms integrate and blend with the nature-like winding fibres of the hand sculpted staircase, designed by Atmos Studio.
The staircase grows and emerges tree like from the shadows below where it intimately wraps around and blends with the bar; two intertwined bodies. The amber glow of bottled spirits are partially visible through misty glass above unfurling copper panelling as one descends the stair to Below.
Also housed within the basement vaults, a remnant of the Victorian mansion that once stood here, are three characterful private dining rooms, hidden behind a burnt gnarly oak screen and a 2500 bottle wine cellar encased by iron doors glazed with authentic blown glass.
We worked closely with the management team to ensure the spacial organisation and adjacencies were as operationally enhanced as possible. The brief asked for over 40 functional spaces which required planning a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle utilising every square inch, space optimised to the extreme, providing spacious front of house for 180 covers and a functional back of house for 200 staff. All spaces required high performing services, a plethora of ductwork and cables, woven and threaded throughout the building fabric.
Two kitchens, a bakery and two beverage bars have been integrated within the design, working in collaboration with the Food Service Design Consultants, Humble Arnold. The main kitchen is hidden away in the basement and the kitchen serving Above is partially visible through misty glass across the void. The Bakery is nestled into the undercroft and has a wood burning oven clad with decorative cast iron panels by FSE Foundry; the hearth of the Ground dining room.
Entered via a solid oak door, the entrance hall houses the cloak cupboard and a play on the traditional cage lift. The rustic, mellow tones and heavy tactile textures combine with the recycled paper acoustic ceiling finish to make Ground an informal and relaxed dining experience.
The restaurant space Above is an elegant panelled dining room, a gallery space both overlooking the internal atrium and externally over fabulous views of Green Park. Parts can be closed off to form private dining rooms with a secret private wash room. Panelling and waiter stations blend here with the polished plaster walls de-formalising the rectilinearity of the room.
The atmosphere of Below is one of shadows and the earth, the aged and imperfection. Working with lighting designers, Spiers and Major, an eternal twilight, subterranean world has been created; playing with varying degrees of light and shadow.
Although perceived as a glass box much of Hide is hidden from the street either by reflection, elevated above or submerged below, games played with degrees of transparency. We have created a grand dining room, both voluminous and intimate, embracing the domesticity of the interior concept, based on the theme of dwelling and playing with the form and scale of the familiar. The 3 floors are tonally different, lightening from below to above, expressed in the materiality of the design, which is both rustic and refined, naturalist and industrial, serious and playful.
The interior feels both intimate and yet part of a larger experience as a silent movie of urban movement plays out in the street, seen but not heard. Many hundreds of hands have made this a very special place, a place with soul in the heart of London.
To find out more about the concept that lies behind Hide visit These White Walls website.