Casual dining is a challenging marketplace and staying relevant is crucial to success. Last year I photographed a number of Nando’s including the Victoria Cardinal Place restaurant as designed by Moreno Masey.
First impressions are important, and when it comes to Nando’s restaurants, lighting is always at the forefront of the concept. The interior design has to enhance the customers dining experience with several layers of lighting used to meet those requirements.
Whether it is daylight or artificial lighting, light draws our attention to textures, colours and forms of a space, helping the design of a space achieve its true purpose. Vision is the single most important sense through which we enjoy the space we occupy, and lighting enhances the way we perceive that space even more.
Victoria Cardinal Place Nando’s is a master class in lighting, utilising the natural light at the front whilst maintaining this with ambient lighting in the stripped back ceiling. There are feature pendants above the various booths and lose tables which circle the restaurant, task lighting around the drinks and condiment unit, and architectural lighting built into the ceiling plus feature “wave” wall.
Central to the restaurants lighting are the Aim Lamps by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Flos. These minimalist industrial suspension lamps create a tangle of wires to produce an organic feel to them. This is echoed in the feature metal and wooden “wave wall”.
There are bold flashes of colour in upholstery, table legs, artwork and servery tiles. The furniture is a mixture of lose tables and booths which hug the feature wall. Even the Nando’s sign is a minecraft ‘esqe wooden block cockerel which is back lit from within.
I’m going to add a special thanks to my youngest son for being my assistant on the day!
Last year I photographed the Nando’s newly refurbished head office reception space in Putney, as designed by Fusion DNA.
Fusion DNA have created a space that looks and feels in the same vein as one of Nando’s restaurants. There is the familiar Nando’s pallet of earthy tones contrasting with vibrant chilli flashes of colour. The design employs African patterns and natural materials with a variety of textures. The reception desk is polished concrete and is set against a bespoke tiled wall with feature pendants above. There is a ribbon light that leads you into the seating area which comprises of a huge feature wooden slat bench curving and twisting to define the reception waiting area.
Also on the ground floor is a large conference room with a bespoke boardroom table made by Forest to Home. The room opens out on to a courtyard for those meetings in the summer to spill out into. There are several other smaller meeting rooms with feature pieces of furniture, pendant lights and artwork.
The spiral stair case is constructed from polished layered plywood and is intertwined by a tube slide that I just had to try whilst there! On the first floor is a large break out / kitchen point for informal meetings. There are also a number of “class rooms” for staff training. Plants seem to grow wherever they can, with a plant wall in the reception area, wall hung planters in the breakout / kitchen space and numerous large planters dotted around.
Nando’s has so far bucked the trend of the slowdown of the casual dining sector and has plans to further expand its restaurant estate in 2019.
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The idea of the workplace has changed dramatically in recent years. No longer just a physical setting, done right, the workplace can contribute to enhanced employee health and wellbeing, create a sense of community and improve pride in a place of work.
I was tasked to photograph the new International Quarter London building, which is a joint venture between Lendlease and LCR, designed specifically as the new headquarters for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Sitting within a 22 acre site that connects seamlessly to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the emerging Cultural and Education District, IQL is in the heart of Stratford. Combining workplace design expertise, Stratford’s green open spaces and outstanding transport connectivity, FCA staff will also have access to a range of facilities including an onsite gym, large roof terrace and 200-seat auditorium.
The new building was designed by world-acclaimed architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, to emulate the very latest thinking behind progressive ways of working. With the health and wellbeing of its occupants at the very forefront, it boasts stunning views of the City of London, as well as innovative design features. A key feature of the building is the atrium which has been designed as an open working environment. There are different work settings within the atrium for people to either work together or on their own.
The building has achieved the highest environmental rating for materials used. Innovative Closed Cavity Facade cladding monitors the position of the sun and adjusts the blinds accordingly, working with multi-service chilled beams to keep temperatures comfortable in the building without compromising on maximising natural light for its occupants from the floor to ceiling windows. 100% fresh air is circulated throughout the building, forming a healthy and stimulating environment to work in.
Around 6,300 employees are now established at IQL with the FCA and Unicef moving their headquarters to the development over the summer. They join TfL who moved to their new building, 5 Endeavour Square, in September 2017. Construction of the third commercial building is in progress, with space there pre-let to Cancer Research UK and British Council. Together they shall bring around 2,400 further staff to IQL when they move in late 2019 and early 2020 respectively.
It always amazes me when I look back at a year of photography of how diverse the projects are. From portraits of “survivors of torture” for TASSC, to Microsoft’s program of Quantum computing.
The work took me to ten different countries across three different continents. I photographed everything from annual report brand material, to advertising, editorial and corporate portraits, events and conferences, and charity photography. I also photographed architectural and interior projects from hotels to shopping malls, high end business offices and luxury residential. I picked up numerous awards throughout the year, featured in the “Best of the Best” Oneeyeland book and had my work exhibited in Washington D.C.
I am ready for all your new challenges in 2019 and look forward to working with you.