Umdasch realised the Roastery & Bakehall for Harrods
London’s traditional department store Harrods has opened the doors of its new Roastery & Bakehall – the biggest refurbishment of the historic Food Halls in the last 30 years. This revolution of taste marks the start of a new chapter in the history of what is probably the world’s most famous luxury department store. It is a sweet paradise in which incomparable talent and culinary creativity are assembled within a single space. A bakery, a coffee roastery and a patisserie with over 200 gourmet treats form part of the new concept. David Collins Studio was responsible for the transformation. The Store Makers from Umdasch took over the challenging implementation for Harrods: they had to create an interior to match the ancient building and also realise the top-quality furniture for the exquisite delicacies in the Roastery & Bakehall.
The Revolution of Taste
The Roastery & Bakehall is the first restored section in the so-called “Taste Revolution” at Harrods since the 1980s. It is a refurbishing project which will take several years and will determine the future of the Food Halls of the premium department store. The Roastery & Bakehall provided a successful start to the rebuilding. The redesign was encouraged in particular by Alex Dower, the Director of Harrods Food & Restaurants. “Nowhere else will there be such a combination of skill, creativity, experience, outstanding service and variety of food,” explained Dower to the British daily newspaper “The Telegraph”.
It was a challenge to implement an interior in harmony with the historic building and the antique elements. “To accommodate the Victorian tiled walls and the restored old ceiling with varying measurements we had to detail each item of furniture individually. In this way the display cases and centre space solutions are adapted to the details and the structures of the historic building” explains Roman Fußthaler, Managing Director Premium Retail, who executed the refurnishing together with his team from their Oxford base.
Roastery & Bakehall in new splendour
During a rebuilding phase which lasted for five months the Roast & Bakery Hall was carefully returned to its original form and size during the 1930s. The breathtaking architectural characteristics of the building have thus been reawakened to new life once more. “My vision was to take the historic integrity of this great hall, and to seamlessly meld it with a design which embraces it, yet makes it contemporary and forward looking,” explained Simon Rawlings, Creative Director at DCS, to “The Telegraph”.“This hall is about the food and the customers. We wanted to create a room which brought together all experiences together, to deliver an experience in which the ambience embraces a mood and delivers on shopability. This space brings together the drama of the history, the theatre of production, the precision of detail and the ultimate in quality all in one place.”
Thus the ceiling, the metal surfaces and the floor of Carrara marble were all completely restored. The hall was given new accents through the luxurious hand-embroidered leather bar stools and a customised brass coffee roaster. The black and white tiles on the floor add a vintage touch for a unique and congenial atmosphere. The mixture of high-quality materials adds an element of excitement. In the middle of the new hall the expansive coffee bar in Art-Deco style invites customers to linger for a while. This stylish central focus attracts discriminating gourmets who wish to enjoy the freshly baked specialities and coffee roasted on the premises. During the daytime they can choose between perfectly brewed cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and espressos. In the evening the coffee bar is transformed into a hot spot for Londoners who ring in the evening with espresso Martinis and Negronis.
Harrods Food Halls – a project in the spirit of the times
The three remaining concepts will be completed in the next years. Umdasch are already working on the renovation of the next department. “We are pleased that Haroods have awarded us already the next department following “Roastery & Bake”. Over the next months we can realise the renovation of ‘Fine Wines’,” commented Roman Fußthaler proudly.