Dower Common Area Project, London, 2015
A trendy communal common area inside of a high-end London apartment block, comprising a lobby & cafe that would cater to several customers, was what was envisaged when putting together this particular design back in 2015.
Bringing together a sizeable group of people in such a setting without having them feel cramped and restricted in their movement requires open space and plenty of areas to stand and sit whilst engaging in conversation.
Additionally, the surrounds should support such a social environment rather than detract from it or distract too heavily.
As such, the ‘Dower Common Area’ concept sought to accentuate the benefits of an open space by adding an assortment of understated yet stylish fixtures, fittings and furniture; plenty of seats and sofas have been arranged in a manner that promotes interaction whilst the surroundings include a fireplace (a top feature) and chic lighting.
Furthermore, the till & canteen/service section is adjacent to the common area and features as part of a restaurant design giving the impression that one is in an environment where one is well attended to! The proximity of this section is also practical, especially when the number of customers is substantial. The focus on hospitality is evident and inherent to this interior design.
Wooden furnishings and joinery supplement the cosy atmosphere whilstalso presenting space for items that could engender discussion amongst guests (books, trinkets, etc). The joinery itself was designed to have movable food storage in the form of fridges, display cases, etc.
The luxury of having a relatively considerable degree of room in a London apartment is fully maximised and partitioning present around the main table allows for this area to be used for more formal gatherings such as a meeting or meal.
Stools and the island located close to the canteen/service section combine to present a more informal location within the apartment to eat and socialise.
Finally, the café is also benefited by the available outdoor space, where doors open onto a terrace which can be utilised to increase capacity, weather permitting. The movable storage referred to above enables the relocation of the canteen service to the outdoors if desired.
The Dower Common Area exemplifies how an intelligent layout, a bit of space and an elegant lounge design can benefit an establishment catering the discerning café-goer.
Note: Ana was working as an interior designer at the architectural practice Woods Bagot for this project.