Category: hospitality

21
Nov

POPO DUMPLINGS

Popo dumplings is a newly created food offer which sits in a freestanding kiosk at Auckland International Airport’s Airside food court. The name derives from the Chinese word for “Grandmother”, referencing the traditional, hand-made nature of the cuisine. The intention was to produce handmade dumplings and noodle dishes prepared fresh on site to serve customers seated at the bar or in nearby common-area seating. The target market is both European and Asian but the kiosk particularly targets travellers from the East who struggle to find familiar food, such as spicy, savoury breakfast dishes.

We deliberately kept the palate quite neutral and wanted to create more of a traditional, old-style Chinese restaurant feel rather than a modern “Chinese take-away” look. Colours were limited to earth-tones, coppers, browns and soft pinks to suggest rock salt. Counter faces feature aged copper and antique-looking tiles in brown, pink and bone tones. We created a new logo in English and Mandarin with the Chinese characters set on a red square.
We completely prefabricated the kiosk mainly using a steel frame for the higher areas for ease of disassembly and transport. The cabinet carcasses are made of timber but also made into several parts for portability.

As everything is cooked to order, and the kiosk serves almost no pre-prepared food, we had a huge counter frontage but very little to display on it (apart from some drinks) so we added seats to one side of the kiosk to add interest so customers could also enjoy seeing the dumpling preparation up close. Light levels in the area are very low so we hid small LED spots where we could and supplemented these with glass pendants reminiscent of old gas lamps.

The result, although dwarfed by construction hoardings in the photos, sits well in the open space as a beacon to anyone wanting something more authentic than typical food-court offerings.

Photography by Sampford Cathie.

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21
Nov

SILK ROAD

Silk Road is a restaurant at Auckland International airport landside food court serving a variety of Asian cuisines.
As part of the refurbishment the airport required a change of menu to focus on Thai food, although Chinese and Indonesian food is also served, therefore the design needed to reflect this combination of influences.
We started by considering the overall “Look and feel” of the newly formatted restaurant and, because the intention was not to reflect only one cuisine, we decided to make it look like a late-colonial merchant house restaurant, as is common throughout Asia.

We wanted to portray this pan-Asian theme without listing the various types of cuisine that were offered so we designed and commissioned wall murals of an Asian street theme, which could be interpreted as being from any food market street in different parts of Asia. The interior was deliberately dark-finished with a number of random light fittings hanging from the ceiling. This ceiling was panelled to look like the underside of a merchant-house floor. The front of the counter is covered in genuine Chinese antique bricks, each of them being well over a hundred years old. The ceiling is painted in brown rust paint. Neon street-food signs complete the look.

The metal screens on the exterior, which also provide security from sleepy backpackers, are reminiscent of those featured in Thailand and China. Similarly dark-stained timber panels were chosen as if it had been around for a century or so. Finally faux brick walls were added and whitewashed to add to this simulation of age.

We believe that the result does offer an of the impression of real backstreet Thai restaurant. In spite of reducing the seating by more than half, sales are strong and the staff no longer have to evict unconscious or grumpy backpackers at the start of every shift.

Photography by Sampford Cathie.

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21
Nov

HAYAMA AIAL LANDSIDE

Our long-standing clients, Kiwi Discovery Ltd, approached us to do a new freestanding store in Auckland International Airport‘s landslide farewell zone – more commonly known as the food court. The 85 square metre site needed to not only act as a sushi store, but also a large commercial kitchen in which the majority of the Hayama food is made to service a number of the chain’s outlets throughout the airport complex. This involved installation of some very large commercial range-hood extract equipment into the ceiling space. Our clients wanted us to continue with their previously established finishes palette of light timber and their existing signage and colour scheme to give a contemporary feel but also to reflect nature of their natural and traditional Japanese products on offer.

The site itself was especially difficult as, in addition to being very small for the kitchen and refrigeration equipment required, there were very few of the necessary services on site due to the fact it was previously a coffee kiosk. We had to include a significant amount of plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems into the tenancy, none of which could be supported from the ceiling. To do this, we had to effectively build a small building within the tenancy to house all of the plant. We also wanted to hide the large bulk of the commercial kitchen so that the building would not appear to be a solid block. We did so by wrapping the food offer around the corner and creating some openings into the kitchen and the sushi preparation space so that the process of on-site sushi making was visible and could be appreciated by customers in the food court.

We broke up the bulk of the space by using some large graphic panels, including an illuminated overhead sign, on which we created a traditional Japanese cherry blossom-patterned panelling to balance against the natural Ash timber used elsewhere. TV screen menus and traditional Japanese teapot displays were added to further break up the solid walls and add interest to surfaces which would otherwise be plain, considering that all the products are displayed in refrigerated wells in the counter. The high positioning of the branding enables customers to identity of the kiosk across a very crowded food court. We chose warm-coloured lighting and graphic tones to also enhance the natural timber finishes.

Photography by Sampford Cathie.

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21
Nov

HAYAMA AIAL AIRSIDE

Our clients wanted Hayama’s Airside outlet to reflect the delivery and branding of the other natural looking restaurants throughout Auckland International airport. The airports own Design Team insisted that once travellers passed through customs and were effectively “on holiday”, and that the dining experience should be quite different so travellers were more likely to relax, grab something to drink and have a less rushed dining experience. The tenancy presented a number of challenges as there was really only one solid wall, which was to the rear of the site where the commercial kitchen was to be placed.

Space was extremely limited, so we chose to only add high level, freestanding, communal tables to minimise the seating area and allow customers somewhere to put their wheelie bags while dining. In addition, we created some dining height seating around the column with an authentic Japanese feel created by the use of hanging cushions and a traditional Japanese teapot display above. We used scalloped tiles on the columns and elsewhere in the tenancy as a nod towards the predominant use of seafood in the menu. The site was very hard to identify from a distance without any exterior walls, so we persuaded the airport to allow us to add signage onto the front of an existing column, although they insisted that this could not actually touch the column apart from some minimal fixings.

Due to the extremely small size of the site relative to the amount of food preparation necessary, some of the kitchen facilities are shared with the adjacent Halong Bay tenancy, while the low wall space itself was treated differently on both sides to reflect the subtle differentiation between the two stores while still allowing transparency from one side to the other.
The result has been very well received and is extremely popular with diners. The Auckland international Airport landlords were so pleased with it that they entered it in to an international design competition for airport retail.

Photography by Sampford Cathie.

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21
Nov

HALONG BAY AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Halong bay is a new concept which we developed for our clients as they expand their Asian food offer to include a new Vietnamese category. The name derives from the popular and beautiful Halong Bay area, which is a huge tourist attraction. The tenancy posed several design challenges: to start, it is a very narrow site which is sandwiched between our clients own Hayama Japanese restaurant and a large burger tenancy next door.

Tables are shared with planter dividers to enable more than one party to occupy them, as space was extremely limited. We sought to decorate the large flat wall we were presented with by neighbours by adding some light-box signs that were reminiscent of the sort of street market and food store signage typical of Vietnam’s cities. We did the graphics for these ourselves. Neon was used to also reference Asian food store signage in general.

The material palette was deliberately limited to natural timber, Rattan and metal finishes typical of the Asian coastal resort while balancing these off carefully against the rich turquoise floor.

The clients, their customers and the airport were delighted with the result, which puts a slightly natural spin on the typical proliferation of Vietnamese inspired food offers popping up all over New Zealand.

Photography by Sampford Cathie.

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06
Dec

HOTEL DE BRETT

The iconic Hotel De Brett was been stylishly re-interpreted into a 25-room boutique hotel, with every room individually designed and complimented with eclectic furniture, New Zealand art and photography.

Studio Gascoigne collaborated on the interior spaces with Martin Hughes Interior Architects, the concept with the client and Mitchinson Simiona Architects, who completed the overall project and documentation and structural design while we handled interiors, lighting, the atrium space and the upgrade of the ground floor to suit the needs of boutique retail tenants.

Hotel De Brett won the 2009 NZIA Auckland Architecture Award (Heritage Category), Bronze at the 2009 DINZ Best Awards in the Hospitality category and was Division Winner at the 2010 NZRIA RED Awards. The hotel also made it onto the WAN Retail Interiors Award ‘long list’ in the Hotel category. Images by Alistair Guthrie and sketches by Wallace Ong.

07
Dec

NEW ZEALAND NATURAL

Studio Gascoigne worked with New Zealand Natural’s management and senior staff to create a completely new retail format at their Botany kiosk to showcase and reflect their expanded range of natural and premium New Zealand products and a number of complimentary products such as smoothies, juices, ice-cream cakes, cup-cakes, crepes and waffles.

The new format was designed to reflect the natural focus and heritage of the brand, with fresh fruit displayed in wooden crates, glass covered chilled displays and natural materials wherever possible within the confines of food hygiene regulations.  Menus were rethought in order to allow easy changing to suit seasonal changes and new items.

Faux white-washed brick walls are used to evoke the heritage feel of an old fruit-shed and as a back-drop to numerous framed photos of New Zealand scenes tailored to each location and share the natural beauty of our country. The result has enabled turnover to increase significantly.

22
Mar

CALIPRESS GRAHAM STREET

Cali Press, (short for “California Pressed” juice) is an Australian juicer and cafe concept originating from Melbourne. Our clients acquired the New Zealand rights for the brand and, after setting up a small juice factory, needed to establish a retail outlet for their products. Their first site was in Graham Street in central Auckland. They proposed to create a new design concept for this which would reflect, not only elements from the Australian fit-out, but also the very simple and pure nature of the products they offered as well as convey the mood of California and its emergent health-focussed cuisine and lifestyle.

We set about designing the interior, which is quite a tight space given the amount of room needed for food storage and prep. We came out with a simple plan which uses essentially one long stainless steel prep bench (with most of the equipment and much of the storage under it), and a white service bench. The palette is very simple: blonded wooden floor, plywood, walls and joinery, floor white tiles, white laminate cupboards, black steel detailing and stainless steel equipment and workbenches. Decoration is by way of a Californian palm-tree mural that we had custom painted on the back wall and some simple signage. Seating is limited but is mainly to a bench seat running down the left side and some spaces in the window area, mainly for customers waiting to pick up their take-out orders.

Lighting is also simple and consists mainly of some exposed bulbs above the tables, LED strips above the workbench and simple LED spotlights set in cable trays. The shopfront was also tricky in that the existing windows are of a semi-mirrored glass, so seeing through this from outside is very difficult making the interior largely hidden. We added shop-front signage to make the inside more visible and, against the air-conditioner engineer’s wishes, our clients leave the doors open most the time so potential customers can actually see what’s happening inside.

The result is very simple, functional and very cost-effective one but, we believe, that it reflects the essence of the Californian simple and healthy lifestyle. Customers love it and the business has taken off with a second site we designed in Parnell now open with another one planned.

10
Dec

HAYAMA

Clients Hayama were required by Auckland Airport to relocate and re-build their Sushi kiosk into a 32m2 space in the shape of a guitar pick. Our aim was to provide a very functional cooking and serving area visible to all sides, while encompassing bulky equipment and refrigerated displays, without any ‘back-room’ area.

Our design blended a very traditional Japanese colour palette with dark-stained wood, a faux Shoji screen effect on the signage bulkhead, raw black steel that enabled us to achieve the right radiuses and a carefully engineered central canopy balanced on one post – the majority of which was constructed in a modular way allowing for off-site fabrication.

Given the constraints of the tenancy footprint, we believe that we have created a very distinctive kiosk that is progressive yet speaks of its traditional offerings, no matter what language you speak. Images by Patrick Reynolds.

12
Dec

COCORO PONSONBY

Cocoro was commissioned by former Soto chef Makoto Tokuyama as a showcase for his distinctive and very natural take on modern Japanese food.

The décor includes a subtle tatami-style matting, sandblasted concrete ceilings, macrocarpa slats and a large dining table in the middle of the room where customers can dine side-by-side.

All of the selected materials are natural and recyclable. The result is a space that has a contemporary Japanese feel and compliments the degustation and tapas style menu with its simplicity.

Cocoro featured on international interior design websites Dezeen and WAN, along with being recognised in the Interior Architecture category winning an Auckland Architecture Award at the 2011 New Zealand Architecture Awards (NZIA) and Gold at the 2011 Best Awards in the hospitality category as well as the Restaurants & Bars Division, Nourishment Group and Sponsor Shopfront Awards at the 2011 NZRIA RED awards. Images by Patrick Reynolds and sketches by Wallace Ong.