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Interview with Olivomare Designer Pierluigi Piu

Posted by: LisaE 18/02/2009 @ 17:15
Subject: Restaurants

With the shortlist soon to be announced for the UK's first awards solely dedicated to excellence in restaurant and bar design, we've got designers on our minds 24-7.

Thankfully, there's nothing flat-pack about the London restaurants to have been nominated for the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. Don't believe us? Simply read our interview with Olivomare designer Pierluigi Piu to find out more about the mastermind behind their latest London restaurant design.

What was the design brief?
The client wished to have a new restaurant in which customers could feel a connection with his two other ones and with the delicatessen shop next door (all of them previously designed by the me). A fish restaurant where you couldn't smell fish but could taste it with an appealing yet relaxing interior.

What were the major challenges involved in the project?
My strongest efforts concentrated on making these premises look larger than they actually are and on evoking the sea world with a simple yet not predictable language, using a sophisticated execution technique.

Tell us about the dynamics of your relationship with the client?
Our relationship has previously been tested on other projects. He expects me to give unforeseen solutions to the missions he entrusts me. Conversely, I expect him to be courageous enough to sponsor such solutions. It generally works on both sides but the way to achieve it is not problem-free.
 
What inspired your design solution?
The submitted theme. I wanted to tailor a contemporary interior, yet referring to the op-art. A place that could talk to customers about the sea world, doing it with a fresh and updated language, keeping it cool and ironic and sophisticated yet simple. Escher’s art has been a strong reference point for this project.

How would you define design excellence?
I believe that excellence does not reside in special yet gratuitous effects but rather in evident adherence to given design problems whilst keeping away from common places.

How do you see the future of restaurant and bar design in the UK?
In the UK the future in this field is already there: just have a look at the entries of this contest and you’ll understand it.

Vote for your favourite venue in the UK's first Restaurant and Bar Design Awards.

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