SHH Architects and Interior Designers were commissioned to design the interiors and branding for a new bakery and brasserie style restaurant at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, home to Premiership Rugby team Wasps and Coventry City Football Club.
The clients, Ricoh Arena and Levy Restaurants, were interested in consolidating their F&B offer to provide consistent, stylish and flexible spaces to cater for guests wanting anything from coffee to a sit-down meal.
SHH created on over-arching theme of ‘handcrafted’ derived from the Coventry’s well know history of local industry and manufacturing - from bakeries to bikes – which then informed the design, branding and type/style of food on offer.
SHH developed the concept of The Mill to support the bakery and brasserie, allowing a broader narrative for imagery, uniforms and colour. The link to industry was used throughout the design, examples being the installation of picture rails for hanging archive black and white photographs taken of old industrial scenes in Coventry, the display of old factory moulds that had been used for casting metal, and the installation of old style butchers bicycles up-cycled to display signage.
The front bakery area was treated as an ‘outdoor’ terrace so that activity could spill out to enliven the space and as a means to create atmosphere. The material palette includes mirror paneling, wenge and oak wall boxes to house artworks, and the extensive use od glazed tiles. White marble tabletops are paired with black Norman Copenhagen Knot chairs, complimented by deep-buttoned olive green upholstered banquet seating. A central bar brings new life to the space, having a vibrant wasabi green granite top with an oversized bull nosed edge in oak.
Local craftsmen were sourced to make the joinery in both the brasserie and restaurant. The redesign was also very much a story about the local community and people of Coventry. Those building the restaurant were fans of the club, attendees at matches at the weekend and proud to be involved in developing their arena.
The project was particularly rewarding, working with and building strong relationships with staff at the arena and the local contractors who all supported the revitalization and transformation of a space they use and love. Once tired and neglected, the new F&B venues have added a sense of style, history and vibrancy to the space, creating a much more exciting destination for the community.