The best architects and interior designers are those who are able to generate pleasant spaces and optimize people’s living experience. For instance, when it comes to going out to enjoy a good meal, it is not just about the menu. A good overall experience is created when good company, good food and, most importantly, well designed surroundings are combined.
The design not only creates an ambiance for dining, but is the space in which these activities take place has a quality design, the whole experience will be enhanced, therefore creating a sublime overall gastronomic experience.
From avant-garde design to vernacular charm
There are as many interior design styles as gastronomic options, and in general, both are closely related. On the one hand, a haute cuisine restaurant with a sophisticated menu will probably receive the consumer in a space created with a contemporary design; this is the case of the Cowford Chophouse, by Design Cooperative (Florida, US), which is one of the design projects that is eligible to win the prize for best restaurant in the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2018.
Designed using sober lines, this space stands out for its luxurious but austere design, as well as its more geometrical distribution which reminds us of traditional canteens. On the other hand, a more local cuisine may be served in more rustic style, using rougher materials.
For instance, the restaurant from Valencia Lavoe (Spain), where the menu, designed by the chef Toni Boix and based on traditional dishes suits perfectly the restaurant’s interiors: brick walls, solid wood furniture and dim lighting. This restaurant’s main feature is the great Ice Black quartz counter, created through the collaboration between COMPAC and the designer Arik Levy, makes this restaurant the perfect scenario for the perfect dinner date.
Best designs for restaurants in the last few years
Once the principles of good design are met, a vast field for experimentation opens up before architects and interior designers for these types of spaces reserved to hedonism and contemplation, build on high levels of creativity. In the last ten years we have witnessed several design trends, but there are common characteristic to all of them: originality and freedom of expression. We see less and less pure and clean-cut spaces, a trademark of the 60’s minimalist architecture. Current trends are aiming at more intense, opulent and daring designs.
We can see an example of this in the German Gymnasium restaurant (London, UK), by Conrad Partners, winner of the award for best restaurant in the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards de 2016. Marble floors, leather furniture in different colors, wooden textures and great staircases made of steel compose an exuberant collage where the user can lose himself/herself in infinite contemplation.
This may also happen in the Westlight bar (New York, US), where designers opted for an industrial look combined with vintage furniture. Studio Munge, who won the award for best bar in the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards de 2016 for this project, was able to capture an ambiance typical of New York’s 1920’s speakeasies. The combination of the multidisciplinary work of its team, this studio was able to create a sophisticated and seductive setting.
Design proposals for 2018
This year’s trends are proving to be very similar to previous ones, with a clear predominance of opulent spaces and voluptuous lines. This trend can be appreciated both in designs for restaurants and bars, although it is true that it is easier to find simpler settings in projects for cafes. An example of a purer design can be found in the Ampersand café (Bangkok, Thailand), designed by the studio party/space/design Co.,Ltd. In spite of the use of golden colors, this small café goes for a moderate use of noble materials.
The contrast between gold and pristine white, added to the use of curvy lines for the furniture provide the consumer with a space in which the finishing materials are the main features.
The .jpg café (Guangzhou, China) is be based on a similar idea but with a completely different result. With a reduced surface and using only two types of material, the Guangdong Infinity Mind Architecture Design Co. creates an exciting and intense ambiance where the clothing of the wall surfaces and furniture a fundamental role with regards to the quality of the space.
Lastly, we would like to mention the Amara restaurant (Miami, US), whose designer, Mayer Davis, was able to capture the paradise-like ambiance of Miami, and reflect it through his design and his use of organic materials. The use of wood, different shades of blue and plenty of interior vegetation are only some of the elements with which this designer recreates a typical Miami beach house.
In addition to the restaurant’s sea views and sand terrace, this project is one of the best candidates to win the award for best restaurant in the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards de 2018.