One of London’s newest restaurants offers a new take on city dining.
Working within the footprint of what was previously part of a historic magistrates’ court in one of central London’s most storied districts, twenty2degrees Design Partnership has created not only an all-day restaurant for guests staying in the associated hotel, The Dixon, but a new dining and social hub for local workers and residents. Named Provisioners, to reflect the culinary provenance and modern flavours of its cuisine, the restaurant comprises the main dining space, a bar area and a semi-private area for small business and social gatherings, and can be accessed either directly from the street or via the hotel.
While also the designers of the hotel, twenty2degrees has intentionally moved away from the aesthetic vernacular of the hotel to take its cues from mid-20th century design and Bauhaus curves in equal measure. Where visual connections with The Dixon do exist, they are subtle, such as the inclusion of teal and yellows which feature in the hotel guestrooms and linear brass partitions recalling the lighting fixture hung over the hotel reception desk.
Using a predominantly pastel colour palette, twenty2degrees has created a relaxed and fresh Miami-beach-inspired atmosphere, distinguishing the restaurant from typical London dining destinations. White metro-style tiles and birched timber veneers, as well as a playful combination of colourful matte and gloss finishes on the ceiling, emphasise the inclusive intent of the design. Traditional terrazzo to the counter tops is paired with a contemporary take in the tabletops where marble is embedded with contrasting marble chips. Positivity and a sense of wellbeing pervade – a far cry from the misery and poverty that once haunted this building in the first half of the last century. Two former holding cells have however been retained, now given new life within the centre of the space, as the place where coffee beans are roasted and from which enticing aromas arise. A black terrazzo grid integrated into the timber floor delineates the location of the old cells that were once below the restaurant, a gentle reminder of the past.
Fittingly, in an area of London which was once an industrial hub, an homage to Sir Kenneth Grange, the revered British designer famous for such 20th Century icons as Kodak cameras and Imperial typewriters, has been woven in by way of a permanent exhibition of his original sketches and conceptual drawings displayed on the wall of the semi-private area.
Provisioners is welcoming, chic and unpretentious. Visitors and guests come by throughout day and evening for coffee, cocktails, lunch and dinner, to work on their laptops or gather with friends.
Nick Stoupas, Founding Partner of twenty2degrees, says: “We took our design cue from mid-century design and modernism and, in so doing, we have created a vibe that appeals to local workers and residents in this, one of London’s most historic districts, as well as an all-day restaurant, bar and hub for hotel guests. Provisioners isn’t only unique in its neighbourhood, but it’s quite different from typical contemporary restaurant design across London with its pastel, Miami-esque colour palette creating a sense of well-being and positivity, even on the greyest London day.”
Location: London, United Kingdom
Design Studio: twenty2degrees Design Partnership