FLASH, Temporary Restaurant, Royal Academy of Arts, London November 2008 – January 2009
Winner of D&AD Yellow Pencil 2009
Situated in the West Room of 6 Burlington Gardens, Flash was a temporary restaurant open for three months as part of the season of contemporary arts, GSK Contemporary hosted by the Royal Academy of Arts. David Kohn Architects collaborated with restaurateurs, Pablo Flack and David Waddington of Bistrotheque, illustrator Rory Crichton and fashion designer Giles Deacon on the design.
The design was inspired by wainscoted interiors, the history of the site as a formal garden to Burlington House and the future of the building as an extension to the Royal Academy’s galleries. A new timber structure made of stacked art crates was erected between each of the room’s cast iron columns, accentuating their presence and framing the three major windows on the west wall. Each section of wall was divided following Classical rules of composition. The effect was to tighten the proportions of the space lending the interior a more elegant character.
From the outset, there was an interest in trompe l’oeil and Pompeiian wall paintings in which fantastical spaces, populated by dancing figures, gardens and animals, would extend beyond the walls of the interior. Decorative infill panels depicting sinuous plants, birds and animals glimpsed through a felt mesh fence were installed alongside recessed mirrors.