What the team behind Lord's media centre did for the new-look Scott's
Scott's, London's classic seafood restaurant and oyster bar, was afforded a rapturous welcome back just before Christmas, when it reopened after just under three years of closure. As befits a well-established London great, the new look by designer Martin Brudnizki is suitably classic with its beautiful oak panelling and a green onyxtopped oyster bar.
But for a new old-style restaurant to become a modern classic, it can't settle for evoking the ritzy luxury of yester year; it has to engage with the times.
Mark Hix, Chef Director of Caprice Holdings, invited architectural and design practice Future Systems to create three eye-catching, stand-alone pieces for Scott's. Though better known, perhaps, for its architecture, most famously Selfridges in Birmingham (1999), Lords Media Centre (1994)
and Comme des Garçons, New York (1998), the Future Systems name is synonymous with highly functional, visually-striking design. Hix commissioned them to create a three-metre-long crustacean display, a trolley and a vanity unit. In fact, it was not the first time Hix had worked with Future Systems Director Amanda Levete; previously, the practice had also worked on a trolley for The Ivy in 1990 and on an ice bucket for Le Caprice in 1991.
More than a decade down the line, Amanda Levete was delighted to get involved. "As architects, it was a really great opportunity to do something and get a quick return," she says, with a smile, "rather than have to wait four years for a building." It was an exciting opportunity to create stand-alone pieces and in the case of the trolley design to "go a step beyond what we did at The Ivy now it's more than 10 years on".
"We stretched the limit of the materials in the trolley and the vanities (carbon fibre and corian)," says Levete. "The trolley is technically quite innovative, but also lightweight, ergonomic and sleek."
It's the crustacean display that has garnered most attention, positioned as it is as the centrepiece of the bar. The challenge for Levete was to profile it to keep ice on it and to keep the shellfish cool, but at the same time have it look beautiful. They also profiled the underside so it's not flat, meaning no one can muck up the clean lines of the display by cluttering up the area with bottles and whatnot.
Designer Martin Brudnizki was thrilled with the contrast between the pieces and his design.
"They're beautiful. Stunning. They bring a contemporary element into a classic design,"
he enthuses. "The pieces are conceptually very strong and creatively, it's very much their signature. They sit very well in Scott's. I'm not interested in designing everything. It shouldn't look like a showroom; the space should look like it has grown."
Future Systems, The Warehouse, 20 Victoria Gardens, London W11 020 7243 7670 future-systems.com Scott's, 20 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1 020 7495 7309 scotts-restaurant.com Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Unit 2N Chelsea Reach, 79-89 Lots Road, London SW10 020 7376 7555 mbds.net