David Kohn Architects
39–51 Highgate Road
London NW5 1RT
+44 (0)20 7424 8596 tel
Situated in the West Room of 6 Burlington Gardens, Flash was a temporary restaurant open for three months, closing in January 2009, as part of the season of contemporary arts, GSK Contemporary hosted by the Royal Academy of Arts. David Kohn Architects collaborated with restaurateurs, Pablo Flack and David Waddington of Bistrotheque, illustrator Rory Crichton and fashion designer Giles Deacon on the design.
Our approach made the most of the existing architecture, co-opting its grandness into the project, whilst achieving a light, playful atmosphere. A new timber structure made of stacked art crates was erected between each of the room’s cast iron columns, accentuating their presence and framing the three major windows on the west wall. Each section of wall was divided following Classical rules of composition. The effect was to tighten the proportions of the space lending the interior a more elegant character.
From the outset, there was an interest in trompe l’oeil and Pompeiian wall paintings in which fantastical spaces, populated by dancing figures, gardens and animals, would extend beyond the walls of the interior. Decorative infill panels depicting sinuous plants, birds and animals glimpsed through a felt mesh fence were installed alongside recessed mirrors. The history of the site as the garden of Burlington House was reimagined, alongside a more gritty urban landscape beyond Mayfair.
Flash was awarded a D&AD Yellow Pencil Award in 2009. The project has been nominated for a 2011 Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Address: Royal Academy of Arts
6 Burlington Gardens, London W1J 0BD
Size: 350 sq.m
Completion date: November 2008
Design Team: David Kohn, Dingle Price, Stephen Kennelly
Chandelier Design: Giles Deacon
Illustration: Rory Crichton
Crockery Design: Will Broome
Photography: Ioana Marinescu