Bluebird is an established café on the Kings Rd that is steeped in history. In 2015 we were asked by D & D to re design the outdoor courtyard space and provide the interior with a lush garden atmosphere.
A key requirement of the project was to consider the practical requirements of a busy, working café set within the boundaries of a Grade II listed building. There was also a need for the space to be flexible due to the regular corporate events that they hosted. Its origins were as a noted Art Deco garage complex that was converted in 1997 to a restaurant.
Our courtyard design has drawn on its background, and the reputation it enjoys as a popular summer meeting place. Most importantly our intention was to create the feeling of an intimate garden space, within the bustling atmosphere.
Key to a successful design was softening the grey, hard landscaping, creating a more unified seating arrangement, introducing colour and harmonious planting, whilst at the same time respecting and blending in with the Bluebird brand identity. To lift the space visually we introduced copper, terracotta and Ipe timber as key materials to unify the space.
The planting was designed to suit the rigours of a working café, whilst allowing for seasonal interest, and some subtle colour. Night-time lighting was very important and the copper material continues into some of the more decorative lighting, with Fairy lights in the trees and Led lights under benches and bars.
In 2016 the upstairs restaurant underwent a massive refurbishment, for which we were asked to propose a fresh new design that would include mature indoor trees as well as an English country side feel.
This was quite a logistical challenge and an exciting introduction to indoor planting on a massive scale. The atmosphere created by the nine superb Bucida trees (one is almost 6m tall!), the ferns, grasses and other low planting is dramatic but enchanting.