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McHugh's Restaurant -1
McHugh's Restaurant -2
McHugh's Restaurant -3

Category Finalist


McHugh’s Restaurant


Jennings Design Studio

Brian Jennings



Commercial Interiors

Structures and Spaces


Peter McEleney, Gerry Brouder, Jakub Durek, Brian Jennings

Design Challenge and Design Ideas

The design challenge was to convert the existing large voluminous shell space into a contemporary restaurant venue, capable of multi functional use for morning, lunch and dinner dining throughout the full week. A key part of the challenge was to create an environment that was capable of being both open, expansive, large and dynamic, while yet being intimate and private.

How the brief was fulfilled

The design resolution was developed over a considerable period of close consultation with the client, who own a successful restaurant at another location. The brief for this new restaurant was to build on the success of the existing formula, while maximising the potential of the new space. The client’s existing restaurant, an older design by others, has some unique features such as a mix of booth and open plan seating, daylight to the rear, and high ceilings in parts. Embracing these types of features, which do form part of the clients business ‘DNA’, while encouraging the client to embrace a new contemporary design for this new restaurant was a challenge. The key features of this design, which achieved the brief, are as follows, * Maximised the features of the shell space * Capable of handling breakfast / lunch & dinner dining * 2 sided flexible use front area, one side being small and private and can be ‘owned’ by a small group, the other side more open with street views allowing great ‘people watching’ and flexibility of layout. * Spacious main dining space, with a variety of seating possibilities, catering for intimate groups of 2 / 4 / 8, and groups of 20+. * Dramatic high ceilings, and features ceiling sections, with exposed services treated sensitively. * Lighting used extensively to meet functional requirements, and to create warmth and atmosphere by distinguishing various architectural and interior design features. * Wall mounted mirrors to allow views throughout the space. * Wall mounted balancing features opposite the mirrors. * Carefully designed timber screens which divide the space while affording intriguing glimpses from one seat to another. * Combination of wide open space and intimate dining areas which gives a unique dining experience that is both private and lively at the same time. * Planning Permission, FSC, DAC, PSDP, BCARS, and Licensing requirements all achieved within programme. * Simple open facade allowing views of the interior

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