The Soaking Process


The MAS Approach


The Soak, (2019)


The Soak food introduces the ancient technique of preserving food: bringing of meats/fish, fermenting fruit and pickling vegetables, to a contemporary audience. Today’s customer is interested in the authenticity and locality of produce and waste management of the food they eat. Fermentation is the perfect way to preserve produce and allows all cuts of meats to be served with local seasonal produce, cutting down on waste whilst promoting gut health.

The strength of the food and drink offer is vital to a venue’s success, but it is essential the brand identity is reflected through the interior.

Concept Design
In the early stages of the design process, the design team collaborate to create the brand identity which is then carefully implemented in the interior design aesthetic. Our visual presentations allow us to explain how we intend to apply the concept to different aspects of design.

1 - These images illustrate how the concept can be adapted to suit the function and the aesthetic of the bar. Customers can observe mixologists create unique, fresh cocktails made from the array selection of herbs and fermented fruits. To add to the theatricality, we suggested displaying the fruits and vegetables used in large jars on illuminated shelving. The steel gantry reflects the grandeur of the architecture as the steel arch mirrors the perfectly arched window profile.


2 - Adding foliage to merchandise reinforced the theme throughout the restaurant. We suggested using old bottles and jars filled with plants, reflecting the gantry and in turn softening the space. Framed delicate pressed flowers are hung in the lounge area and as menu books; this attention to detail allows the space to feel unique and personal.


3 - We wanted the custom artwork pieces to reflect the heritage of The Grosvenor Hotel with a contemporary edge. We were inspired by Valerie Hegarty (Woman in White and 2012) and Kwangho Shin (2014), two unique artists creating portraiture with a subversive edge:

Hegarty incorporates foliage into her painting to obscure the subjects face. The roots act as a form of reverse archaeology: as though the painting is a reminder of the history of the hotel and as well as the vegetation used in the foods and beverages.

Shin applies thick acrylic brush strokes to distort the subjects face, making the individual anonymous. A monochrome background background allows the bright colours to sing. Continuing the portrait theme, we wanted to feature three large sculptural pieces but here use acrylic brush strokes to create floral patterns to obscure each face.

Render Studio’s visual shows how using a traditional bust, smashing it and filling it with flowers creates a unique sculpture that once again relates back to the concept.

Elegant Clutter were set the challenge of interpreting these ideas and you can view their creations on our Website and Instagram page.

Sample Board
On completion of the concept design development, we explore material palette to ensure the colour and materials reinforces the brand. A digital sample board is an effective way to illustrate initial thinking, however, it is essential to present the physical samples. This allows the client to see and touch the material and understand how the paint colours and upholstery work together which helps bring the scheme to life.

4 - We always group the fabrics and materials that feature in the same area together. Whilst you still gain an overall idea of what the scheme is, you gain a better understanding of each zone. As budget plays a significant role in design, it is important to be mindful of cost through the selection process to ensure the specification is within budget.

The soak embraces a minimalistic scheme in order to showcase the menu and unique artworks. The walls are painted in deep blue, soft green and aubergine to zone each space. Light oak flooring is laid in a herringbone style, however, the planks re oversized. The blue tone compliments the mild steel metal work which features in the gantry, carriage booths and french screen. The mixture of herringobe fabrics, velvet ad leather creates a refined palette whilst the occasional touch of vibrant pink, injecting a pop of colour into the space; as a bold contract to the harmonious palette.

In line with the sample board, a furniture plan is presented to discuss how the space functions for customers and staff. At this point, the client will see as to how any covers the space can achieve, the overall number of diners the restaurant can accommodate, in fixed and loose seating, and how the finishes will be apportioned. It is crucial we design to maximise the clients requirements, understanding he percentage of drinking versus eating covers and how they envisage the paces evolving over the course of service.

5 - We create a rendered plan to show where colour should be applied, and you can instantly measure whether the space is lacking in a certain colour or texture which can be quickly amended if required.

Sketch Up
It is often difficult for clients to read two dimensional plans and elevations leaving them unsure of what the space or element will look like, whereas 3D drawings allow you to demonstrate a truer representation of the final design as the client becomes immersed in the space. For interior projects, the walk around function allows you to navigate through a space using different viewpoints and if necessary, apply co;our and textures.

MAS, Walkthrough Video, (2019)

This scale of project required a model of the whole space. From the early stages we developed each area separately and in the later stage the drawings were combined to show the client the entirety of the space which allowed them to quickly approve the scheme.

Sketch Up Development
In addition to the Sketch Up model, certain elements of the design are taken into Photoshop to apply finishing touches alongside supporting imagery, allowing the client to understand what a specific detail will look like.

7 - The gantry could be merchandised with jars, foliage and wine bottles, lit with neon branding creating immediate visual impact on arrival.

7 - Showing the key elements in situ allows the client to gain a sense of scale whilst the close-up view allows them to see any detail and supporting imagery is always recommended.

A successful interior comes from understanding, collaboration and implementation; the ability to listen, work as a team and make concept a reality.

Lauren Dargo