Pennethorne's At Somerset House

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In the Press & Media

Pennethorne's Cafe Bar | Decoration Digest

SHH newly-named ‘Interior Design Practice of the Year’ at the FX Awards 2014 and ‘Best Large Design Studio’ at the London Design Awards 2014 – has just completed its latest interiors project: Pennethorne’s Cafe Bar, a new hospitality offer for long-term client and operator Levy Restaurants UK (the sports and leisure division of Compass UK & Ireland), located within Somerset House, one of London’s most dynamic arts and cultural centres. The new venue is now open in a site on the building’s west face, looking out onto Lancaster Place and Waterloo Bridge.

‘The overall interior design treatment is rich, dark and daringly moody’ explained the project’s Lead Designer, Georgia Stevenson of SHH. ‘It references early 19th century tastes, but with a modern twist and features inky blue walls, antiqued bronze mirrors, pre-faded rugs, dark timber loose furniture, dramatic lighting and bespoke banquettes in navy leather and velvet.'

A number of playful features referring directly to Sir James Pennethorne have also been incorporated. The bespoke navy banquettes in this and the next section, located below the row of six tall windows facing out onto Lancaster Place (and a dramatic overhead lighting feature), were designed by SHH, with leather seats and buttoned, velvet backs. Loose furniture here and throughout includes brass-wrapped tables (bespoke-made by UHS) and black-painted timber chairs with upholstered seats (the Ton Chair 33). A number of one-off antique furniture ‘finds’ have also been incorporated into the mix.

And this was just the start - they designed uniforms and SHH’s Head of Brand Priya Patel has created a series of fantastical images to accompany the identity, using 19th century cartoon illustrations of people with their heads replaced by drawings of either fruit and veg or culinary utensils: a perfect encapsulation of the overall design treatment as a contemporary twist on 19th century inspiration. The surreal depictions (with the figures undertaking a number of activities, from cycling and playing sports to having their hair cut) have been used across a range of graphic items, such as menus, point of sale and disposable paper cups, bringing a ‘smile factor’ to the overall graphic treatment.

All in all a magnificent interior project which will be spoken about for many years to come.

24/1/2015 Decoration Digest