Belgo Zuid Restaurant
Location: London, United Kingdom
Client: Belgo Group PLC
Date: 1999 Completion
Total Area: 540m2
Budget: £1.7 million
FOA: Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi
Project Architect: Matthew Morrish
Design Team: Chotima Ag-Ukrikul, Luis Falcon, Kenichi Matsuzawa, Mathew Mors, Naomi Ninomiya, Lluis Ortega, Xavier Ortiz, Lluis Viu Rebes
Structure: Adams Kara Taylor
Services Engineers: John Brady Associates
Belgo served Belgian food: moules, frites and biére, and exploits the Belgian idiosyncrasies as a theme. Our design strategy was to explore the formal, structural and organizational qualities of the restaurant’s “theme”.
Mussel shells, velodromes, stomachs and intestines, barrels of beer, medieval vaults, stained glass, Brueghel and Bosch were our form-making references. Belgo Zuid was located in a former dance hall / small theatre in London’s Notting Hill Gate. The walls and the roof of the main dining hall were rebuilt as structures that would exploit the theme of the “shells” and would bring in natural light to the restaurant whilst respecting views of neighbors over the roof.
These elements were designed as a single surface clad in stainless steel on the outside, and wrapped with oak planks on the inside with three skylights. On the north face of the main space, the opening of the old proscenium was preserved, to expose the kitchen, and a bar that was placed above the kitchen. The kitchen was lit with red neon, whilst the bar had sky-blue lighting, to form a medieval diptych representing hell and heaven.