Rachel Dein Part 2 of 3: Deliciously Verdant New Work in "Hide", a Piccadilly Restaurant
"Lustedgreen were responsible for the architectural design, detailing and co-ordinating all aspects of the project and worked closely with the Concept and Interior Designer, These White Walls, developing the design scheme."
This restaurant was designed as a concept top to bottom - in fact, there are three levels and each has its own look and feel but they all tie together in the overall concept.
The top level, called Above, "offers diners tranquil views over Green Park and a light-filled dining room. The food is light, elegant & pure."
The street level, called Ground, "is the heart of the restaurant, providing nourishment and comfort. Shelter from the bustling world outside and let us look after you."
And Below is "the basement bar, where diners and drinkers alike can enjoy a classic cocktail or contemporary creation. It offers an impressive list of the world’s finest and rarest spirits: all available for you to taste."
Each level is designed to evoke these levels of the earth. Rachel Dein has work in Above.
The first word that comes to mind when I look at this work is "verdant." Now, I realize that the primary definition of this word always has to do with the color green; it is also defined as "covered with growing plants or grass" but the main association is with color so it's interesting to me that Rachel's monochromatic works are so evocative as to make me feel color even in its absence. This is one expression of her sensitivity to her subject matter, her materials, and her process. (To learn about her process, check out Part 1 of this series.)
Dein's ability to capture the spirit of the natural world is what makes her work so exceptional. The perfect imperfection of nature isn't easy to mimic but she somehow creates rhythms, densities, and combinations capable of transporting us to a field of wildflowers or the dappled light under the light shade of a plane tree.
There's an added delight to these works. Dein was asked to hide personal objects in the botanical casts in the room above, tying in with the theme of the restaurant. These objects belong to owners Tatiana Fokina and Evgeny Chichvarkin (of Hedonism Wines), as well as chef Ollie Dabbous, the designers, and staff and function as gems hidden in the tangle of plants and they tie into the restaurant's theme beautifully.
The panels below, a focal point in Above, have a different vibe entirely. Combined with the umbrella-like shape of the light fixtures, these panels create the feeling of being under the airy canopy of a tree. Dein is never heavy-handed in her compositions - her use of negative space sometimes grounds the work and in cases like the room below, creates a lightness as if the leaves could tremble in a breeze. These panels reflect the plane trees that grow opposite the restaurant in Green Park, a thoughtful choice that makes the work site specific in a nice way
These interiors are my idea of heaven. I haven't been to Hide, but if the interior design is any indication, the food must also be divine. I can say this - the next time I'm in the UK, Hide is at the top of my list.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our blog series on Rachel Dein. The next installment will focus on Rachel's incredible commission for a fashion atelier in London.