Quincoces-Dragò & Partners creates "relaxed, seductive ambience" for Mayfair restaurant

Architecture studio Quincoces-Dragò & Partners has unveiled The Dover restaurant in Mayfair, London, which was informed by art deco design.

The first solo venture from Martin Kuczmarski, formerly group COO at Soho House, the restaurant was designed to be “unpretentiously elegant” and have a “relaxed, seductive ambience”.

The long, narrow restaurant was made up of a series of dimly-lit spaces that were designed to be gradually unveiled.

Dimly lit bar with lampshades and long bar
The interiors feature extensive panelling in American walnut

Entering from the street, the fully glazed reception area is separated from the restaurant with a dramatic velvet curtain in deep burgundy.

On parting the curtain, a long central corridor leads – across a black and white marble chequered floor – past a bar on one side, and open-plan and banquette seating on the other.

The chequered runway continues between the bathrooms and private dining booths, before ascending a few steps into an intimate wood-panelled dining room “reminiscent of a bygone era of fine dining”.

Curved dining booths feature Murano glass chandeliers
Curved dining booths feature Murano glass chandeliers

“The space itself is challenging – long and narrow with a major corridor connecting the main areas, which is where we ended up creating the most intimate booths of the whole restaurant,” David Lopez Quincoces and Fanny Bauer Grung of Quinconces-Dragò & Partners told Dezeen.

The three private dining booths, in curved dark wood panelling, each feature a Murano glass chandelier by Venini.

Curved wood panelling is used in the dining room
Curved wood panelling is used in the dining room

Kuczmarski described the spaces of The Dover as “a buzzy bar, intimate dining booths, and then the main dining room”.

“The shape of the space has become part of the customer journey,” he added.

Kuczmarski worked closely with Milan-based Quincoces-Dragò & Partners on the design, aiming for a “contemporary art deco vibe” achieved through dim lights, curved American walnut panelling, contrasting textures and the chequered floor.

Lighting fixtures are a mix of modern and Art Deco-inspired
Lighting fixtures are a mix of modern and art deco

Wood panelling is the main element in the restaurant, which the designers said “creates intimacy whilst nodding to tradition”.

The curved panelling for the dining booths is echoed in curved corners and ceilings of the main dining room, which is a fully panelled space.

Velvet upholstery was chosen, in part, to manage the acoustics – a “fundamental aspect when designing the space”, Quincoces and Grung explained.

The black and white chequerboard floor was made from nero marquinia and calacatta marble, which are both characterised by a veined appearance, softening the solid colour.

Brass accents feature throughout, on lampstands at the bar
Brass accents feature throughout

Brass lamp stands, with shades reminiscent of wood veneer, line the bar.

The design of the interiors is “simple and straightforward when looking at it plainly, but rich with many details as you discover it piece by piece” said the designers.

“The secret to good design is detail, detail, and more detail – and above all proportions!”

Three private dining booths make up one area of the space
Three private dining booths make up one area of the space

Relief from the comprehensive wood-panelling comes in the form of red lacquered display cabinets.

Wall lights with art deco glass sconces and a curved corrugated perspex panel in the dining room further break up the wood panelling.

A curved corrugated perspex panel breaks up the wood panelling
A curved corrugated perspex panel breaks up the wood panelling

The panel traverses from wall into ceiling in the dining room and functions as a “non-window” to prevent the space from feeling confined in wood panelling.

With Kuczmarski, Quincoces-Dragò & Partners worked to create “an atmosphere that is welcoming – one that, as Martin says, ‘makes you feel good at first glance'”.

Long corridor leading past bar
The central corridor leads past the bar through to private booths and dining room beyond

“The spirit of art deco – which is serious but playful, lush while elegant – inspired us tremendously when Martin spoke to us of his idea for The Dover,” Quincoces and Grung explained.

Other Mayfair restaurants recently featured on Dezeen include Tutto Bene’s “sombre elegance” for the interiors of Nightingale and Japanese steakhouse Aragawa’s London outpost, featuring Rosendale Design’s paper pendant lights.

Photography is by Matt Russell, courtesy of The Dover

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