luni, 16 martie 2009

International Design Architects Transform Soho Favourite

International architects Woods Bagot has re-designed Barcode, the famous bar and club at the heart of Soho scene.

Lead architect Rob Steul, collaborated with Troy Wear owner of Barcode Soho and completed an extensive refurbishment project that maintains the potent brand imagery with the need for customer comfort in a crowded bar.

The design brief was to preserve the memory of the landmark club whilst still refreshing its appeal. Using all the brand history from graphics to the classic BC logo, Barcode retains its “destination” status and familiarity for the Soho crowd but is a leap forward in terms of being a sustainable, progressive design.
Rob Steul , principal at Woods Bagot, explained: “The refurbishment maintains the famous exterior of Barcode, but we have transformed the interior to create a much more comfortable, environmentally-friendly experience.

Barcode is a renowned destination in central London and, as such, working with an iconic brand that is known and loved by thousands of customers, means the design has to be functional but also sensitive to their expectations.”

He added: “There is no doubt however, that it is a departure from many of the homogenised, branded bars that now occupy Soho . Barcode Soho is a unique experience, with the feel of a New York club and a design that has increased the user enjoyment of the venue.”

Soho venues provoke many design challenges for architects, as they are primarily conversions from cramped Victorian venues, ill-suited to the requirements of a 21st Century bar and club. With a capacity of over 400 in an area of only 3,000 sq ft, the space provokes a challenge to any designer. To that end, Rob Steul and his team have worked hard to generate a “flow” that allows customers to comfortably circulate through its many rooms.

Previously with two floors of entertainment the venue has now been re-vamped with three floors to whet the appetite of clubbers. This new look includes a state of the art dance space in the basement and a new ground floor bar. The total cost of the project was £500,000.

The dance floor is made of sprung timber to improve the customer experience – rather than the more regular concrete base flooring – and the lighting consists of LED lighting, which uses the same amount of electricity as boiling a kettle.
Rob Steul commented: “We decided to embrace the challenge of transforming the old clubbing venue. Floor by floor, I feel that we have successfully fused the atmosphere of Manhattan with the streets of Soho.

“Barcode is very much a destination brand yet we wanted to give it a global flavour. Renowned worldwide from Madrid to Milan - working on one of the few bar brands that is known outside of the UK is a great honour for us.”

About Woods Bagot
International design practice Woods Bagot provides its clients with innovative design solutions that are both functional and inspiring. This is demonstrated by the successful delivery of a range of high profile projects within the commercial workplace, hospitality, mixed-use, education and science sectors.
Established in 2001, Woods Bagot’s London studio now has a dynamic team of over 100. Since its inception, its young, integrated team has developed a diverse portfolio of significant projects including:

– Piccadilly Tower, Manchester
– Liverpool Central Village
– Minthis Hills Resort, Cyprus
– ANZ London
– Rolls building, London
– Walkers Cayman Islands

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