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B3 designers scoop top prizes in restaurant and bar design accolades

By Paul Caffell (16 May 09)
Tags: B3 Designers Restaurant Bar Design Awards Best Bar London Best Bar Interior London Carbon Bar Club West End Le Gavroche Bar Restaurant Mayfair Babel Bar Clapham B3 Designers Restaurant Bar Design Awards Best Bar London Best Bar Interior London Carbon Bar Club West End Le Gavroche Bar Restaurant Mayfair Babel Bar Clapham B3 Designers Restaurant Bar Design Awards Best Bar London Best Bar Interior London Carbon Bar Club West End Le Gavroche Bar Restaurant Mayfair Babel Bar Clapham B3 Designers Rest

Header image for B3 designers scoop top prizes in restaurant and bar design accolades
B3 designers scoop top prizes in Restaurant & Bar design accolades

Architectural interior designers B3 have claimed victory in four major categories at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, including Best Bar.

Carbon, a breakthrough bar within the design conscious Cumberland Hotel, was awarded the top prize of UK's Best Bar, as well as Best Bar Interior (other space). B3 walked off with a further two awards in the Best Bar Interior (stand alone) and Best Washroom Space sections for their work on Babel and Le Gavroche respectively.

They beat off stiff competition from the likes of Zaha Hadid, Tom Dixon and Shaun Clarkson, at the inaugural awards event attended by leading lights from the design and hospitality world in London's creative heartland, Shoreditch.

Mark Bithrey, founder of B3, said: "To be nominated for, let alone win, four prestigious industry awards, is an outstanding achievement for our team. We are proud to have been up against such worthy opponents, and to have scooped the top prize for Best Bar is the icing on the cake.

“Each of the winning venues is very different, which is testimony to our ability to tackle a diversity of projects, while maintaining our commitment to original ideas and attention to detail."

The winning projects:

Carbon - Best Bar and Best Bar Interior (other space)

The Cumberland Hotel, Great Cumberland Place, W1

This destination venue, at the distinctive Guoman Group hotel, features an exceptional interior inspired by industrial architecture and brings raw Shoreditch chic to the West End.

A unique fusion of concrete, brick, steel, mesh and leather contrasts with outsized Chesterfields, bevelled mirrors and sketches of 21st century industrial living that cover the walls.

B3 designed Carbon to maximise space, privacy and the ability to be seen all at once. Its features include a Chain Room, with chains suspended floor to ceiling to create a semi-private function room; a Champagne Bar with an impressive 5-metre high champagne wall; a 14-metre bar created from concrete blocks; and a DJ booth unusually located above the bar and floating mezzanine.

The bar’s toilet walls are adorned with mock blueprints that explain how to handle 20th century tools. The ladies’ washrooms ironically feature scribbled instructions on how to handle heavy-duty machinery, while the gentlemen’s toilets display instructions from operating manuals for ovens, irons and household objects.

Babel - Best Bar Interior (stand alone)

Northcote Road, SW11

Basing the concept on the name 'Babel', B3 turned the confusion of languages into confusion of visual styles. The result is an eclectic interior using reclaimed objects and a mixture of styles from various eras, such as 1950s style furniture, a reclaimed nineteenth century bar and different types of lighting.

Colourful lamps, hanging in clusters from the ceiling, were either custom made or sourced from design shops. The feature wall is made up of reclaimed letters, sourced from different salvage yards and Shelf in Shoreditch.

Behind the salvaged bar front, the back bar walls are covered with hundreds of framed antique finish mirrors to reflect a kaleidoscopic impression of the space. Soft seating, specifically designed for Babel, takes inspiration from 1950’s classic furniture. Poser tables are made up of decorative cast iron balustrade sections offset by the functional design of the Tolix stools. Outside seating area is enlivened by a selection of colourful Luxembourg chairs.

Le Gavroche - Best Washroom Space

Upper Brook Street, W1

The challenge of the redesign of the ladies’ toilets at Le Gavroche was to ensure it stayed in keeping with the overall traditional design of the classic French restaurant, but incorporating feminine touches.

The new WC is evocative of a boudoir, clean and classically elegant. Large gilt French gold mirrors line the walls. Porcelain tiles were cut to size to create a herringbone pattern for the flooring. Traditional sanitary fittings were used, including high-level cistern pull-chain toilets and a turn-of-the-century style sink. Antique hand mirrors were sourced via eBay to decorate the walls, and an antique chair was repaired and recovered to give it new life.

Extra Information:

1. B3 Designers

Founded in 2002, B3 is a forward thinking design consultancy that offers an innovative and practical approach to design for restaurants, bars and hotels. They create spaces that are both memorable and operational, with classic designs that eschew fashion in favour of longevity. B3 is known for using recycled and reclaimed materials wherever possible to minimise environmental impact. Other recent projects include Roka, Relais de Venise L'Entrecote, Cinnamon Kitchen and Pasha restaurants, and Shochu and Anise bars.

2. The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards

The UK's first and only restaurant and bar awards dedicated exclusively to design. Judged by a panel of some of the world's most creative and well respected leaders in design and style, they recognised and rewarded both the 'restaurants and bars' as well as their 'project and product' designers for design excellence.

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