This is a new shop and dessert bar for renowned chocolatiers William & Suzue Curley - William is the holder of the ‘Best British Chocolatier’ award for 2007, 2008 and 2009 by the Academy of Chocolate.
This project involved the complete strip-out and subsequent fit-out of a 90 sq.m ground floor retail space and 60 sq.m basement. At ground floor level is a 7 metre long chilled cabinet for displaying fine patisserie, chocolates and ice cream in a temperature controlled environment. Adjacent to this is a dessert bar with seating for 7. There are also three separate areas of banquette seating to give another 16 covers.
One of the main ideas behind the design of the interior was to think about chocolate in terms of it’s origins and how it is procured – designing a predictable dark brown interior to ‘represent chocolate’ was something we actively avoided. This resulted in features such as the gold leaf artwork for the corner banquette depicting cocoa trees and the three-dimensionally arranged hessian clad padded panels behind the counters to reference the hessian sacks that cocoa beans are packed in at various plantations around the world.
The custom-made clear glass lighting pendants to the rear are loosely intended to resemble cocoa pods. The remainder of the palette consists of reclaimed pine flooring, limestone counters and surfaces, burnt orange leather, oak joinery and a long spray-lacquered ceiling raft to unify the various elements, highlight the length of the space and help to draw the eye down to the back of the shop. At basement level is a demonstration kitchen where chocolate courses and workshops will take place.
I was recommended by a friend about Jonathan Clark, as the ideal architect for our new store in Belgravia. He listened carefully to our brief and our aspirations for the shop. Jonathan then created what we feel is a beautifully designed space where every last detail was thought through, giving our chocolates and patisserie the show case they deserve.
• FX Magazine, April 2010
• Design Week, 6 December 2010
• Total Retail, March 2010