Amazónico, the rainforest-inspired Madrid favourite, is now officially open in London. MJP were the design team leaders for this latest bar and restaurant, and worked closely with interior designers Studio Lázaro Rosa Violán to help deliver an atmospheric interior, in what had been a vacant retail unit facing the historic Berkeley Square in Mayfair.
MJP’s brief was to create the best possible canvas for the interior designers to realise their lavish vision. This included the careful coordination of services in a complex interior, and facilitating the integration of base-build elements, so that they were profiled and set-out efficiently, accurately and eliminating any wasted space. Most importantly, they had to be invisible.
Quite often, we had to invent clever ways for our work to be completely ‘look no hands’. Total invisibility is definitely a dark art and really difficult to achieve successfully
The ventilation and extract requirements were particularly difficult, given the restaurant’s diverse menu which includes charcoal barbeque. As part of the culinary theatre, it was critical that cooking is on display right at the front, close to Berkeley Square. MJP’s challenge was to coordinate a system of invisible, three-dimensional duct routes through the Z-shaped interior, which then rose up a ten storey high enclosure at the back of the building.
Completed in 1938, Berkeley Square House is constructed from a reinforced concrete frame supporting ‘hollow pot’ decks. This limited the capacity for hanging services and decorations from the underside. The deck was also a poor acoustic isolator, so a heavy ceiling was required. In addressing these challenges, MJP brought conservation knowledge to analysing the issues of the existing structure and designing imaginative solutions.
MJP devised a system where an array of acoustic hangers were installed in the structural ribs of the ceiling, from which all other items could be hung. This meant fewer acoustic isolators, and substantially reduced the risk of accidentally fixing into the fragile pots. Where the ceiling loads were great, we helped devise a steel sub frame spanning between columns. Neither of these interventions can be seen.
Joe Wrigley, MJP Associate and the Design Team Leader says: “Quite often, we had to invent clever ways for our work to be completely ‘look no hands’. Total invisibility is definitely a dark art and really difficult to achieve successfully”.