Launched in 2008, Food Inc’s unique food retail concept is a combination of farmers’ market and contemporary food hall, where the restrained but powerful architecture allows the product to take centre stage.
The design brief was to create a series of bespoke counters and kiosks merchandising a wide variety of high quality food offers for Food Inc, new high class food retail brand. The challenge was to achieve a flexible design language capable of accommodating a disparate set of spatial, technical and merchandising requirements for each offer, whilst maintaining a consistent, strong brand image. Moreover, the new unitry had to provide a contemporary, fresh and unified appearance appropriate to Food Inc’s innovative retail offer, whilst sitting harmoniously within the Grade II listed atria spaces.
A desire for simple forms and materials that would act as an elegant but subtle backdrop to the product led to the development of a series of individual block volumes, surmounted by a continuous ‘ribbon’ element, visually tying each unit together along the length of the Whiteleys mall spaces. A series of common datum levels for the height of base plinths, counter blocks, ‘ribbon’ and shelving ensure that design continuity is reinforced across every unit.
A guiding principle for material selection for Food Inc. was that the unitry finishes should not overwhelm the product, but rather display it to maximum effect. A strictly limited palette of material finishes with muted colours also fulfils a number of technical criteria: robustness, fire performance and hygiene. Satin polished stainless steel, white DuPont ‘Corian’ solid surface material, with low iron glass provided an elegant solution to these requirements.
Client Food Inc.
Location London, W2
Status Completed 2008
Architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Services Engineer Hilson Moran Partnership
Structural Engineer Fluid Structures
Main Contractor Faithdean / Nuttall Project Solutions
Photography Alex Hill