A disused, derelict cinema on a backland site of Ladbroke Grove provided the site for the western outpost of the fashionable Belgo chain of restaurants. Built to tight boundaries, budget and planning restrictions, the design uses simple technology in an imaginative way.
With kitchens tucked economically away in a retained structure, diners feast on their meals in a space where the apparently conventional plywood-clad walls warp and separate into a series of asymmetrical curves for the roof, letting some daylight in and loosely resembling a plate of mussels. To keep the structure for this extraordinary shape within budget we welded additions onto basic symmetrical arches; between them the roof is a simple joist, plywood and standing seam construction. Resolving all the structural complexities into the new arches also meant that the only new foundations needed were under them.
Conversion of a disused cinema in west London into a state-of-the-art Belgo restaurant
Belgo Group Plc
Foreign Office Architects
£ 1.4 million
- 1999 FX International Interior Design Award – ‘Best Leisure Venue’