Following a successful collaboration in their hometown of Brighton, we were approached again by the ethically-sourced chicken restaurant H.en to design their second restaurant for a six month residency in Islington, London. H.en prides itself on being virtually waste free – offering its customers a ‘beak to feet’ menu – and this sustainable ethos was translated in the design of the restaurant.
Located on Upper Street – North London’s undisputed Mecca of gastronomy – we knew the restaurant’s design had to work hard to compete.
Our response was to adorn the front of the restaurant with a bright, chick-yellow egg supergraphic that arches over the front door and pops out against the deep green of the exterior walls. Islington is also a hub of creative talent and we commissioned local illustrator Thom Mountford to produce a graphic installation across the back wall of the restaurant. With chicken-related iconography, the bold and whimsical piece greets H.en’s customers with a smile as they enter the restaurant as well as inviting the attention of passers-by looking for a spot to eat.
Inside the interior design combines several juxtaposing aesthetics that come together to create a playful, relaxed and authentic atmosphere. We used pastel colours throughout to accentuate the generous light that floods inside through the building’s beautiful floor to ceiling arched windows, whilst salvaged corrugated iron cladding gives a nod to the hen house.
We were able to reuse 70% of the premise’s existing furniture by freshening up chairs and tables with a lick of white paint. The cushions of the plywood booths are made of recycled chip foam and upside down baskets were repurposed as lampshades adding texture and supporting H.en’s sustainable credentials.
Drawing on Amy’s textile background we created a screen of woven rope – essentially a loom – enhancing the dining experience by creating more intimate areas for customers to eat together.
Working closely with the client, we created a fun and social dining experience for H.en’s many customers. The project was a great opportunity to think carefully about recycling materials and come up with innovative ways to bring the company’s friendly personality and passion for ethically sourced produce to London.
This project has been shortlisted as part of our entry in to the WIN – Emerging Interior Design Practice of The Year
Working closely with Ardour from start to finish was an absolute pleasure. They approached the project with such vigour and attention to detail, and shared our passion for the project.
Mr P. ILIC