GO recently completed work on the much anticipated 2nd location of Bea's of Bloomsbury; an independent boutique cafe specializing in bespoke cakes and high-quality food.
The new location comprises of two floors: a kitchen and serving area on the ground floor, and a mezzanine level with bench and booth seating, offering customers a casual relaxed environment in which to look out through the glazed facade at St Paul's. The site is a narrow 70sqm corner unit in the newly developed One New Change building by Jean Nouvel adjacent St Paul's Cathedral.
The design of the restaurant is modern with a twist of the aesthetic mindset of a Japanese tea house. With much of the food offered at Bea's being cute and colorful, the design approach went for a dark neutral background to celebrate the skilled hands at Bea's. Cupcakes, cakes, and quaint objects are displayed in individual glass boxes, showcasing the food as stars of the show.
The upholstery throughout the store complements the colors of Bea's food with sprinkles of different colored cushions contrasting the darker background. The palette was kept tight with dark anthracite on vertical surfaces and soft blue undertones on ceilings and feature areas.
The lighting is kept ambient with a soft comfortable glow from the ceramic teapot lights suspended at various heights, adding a layer of fun and elegance to the scheme. At night, the display boxes and teapot lights output a welcoming glow that puts a smile across the faces of people passing by.
"The focus was on creating a unique and experiential space for Bea that reflected the same care and passion she had for the food she offered," said co-founder/director Go Sugimoto. "The challenge was in creating an environment that reflected her culture which customers could recognize and engage, despite being an independent retailer."
Elements of her packaging design, also by carbon, can be seen with large scale graphics swooping through the scheme. The graphic is broken up along the various vertical surfaces of the space, which can be seen in its complete form along the elevation.
"In creating a strong and present identity, it is crucial to maintain a design language that is consistent throughout her offer" explains Sugimoto, "the store is her experiential identity"