On the eighth floor of the OXO Tower, a pioneering mixed-use scheme on London’s South Bank, a 500-seat rooftop restaurant, bar and brasserie offers unrivalled views of London. The stunning setting is enhanced by the louvered ceiling and associated scene lighting which adjusts automatically throughout the day to create a changing ambience.
The underside of the roof in the double-height space consists of motorised fins which change colour from white during the day to aquamarine in the evening. The colour change eliminates internal reflections of light as well as allowing variation of both the lighting and acoustic levels. With the onset of dusk, the restaurant is seductively illuminated and the OXO Tower landmark emphasised by the glowing minaret. The plate glass elevation permits the articulation of the tower through to the main cores of the building.
The final design for the restaurant establishes a distinctive character for its two main areas, the restaurant and the brasserie, whilst exploiting the panoramic views over the River Thames from Lloyds and the City in the east to Charing Cross in the west.
OXO Tower is one of London’s most successful restaurants and coexists happily with low-rent apartments, craft workshops and specialist shops. In these respects, the building of mixed textures and uses is a paradigm for the city.
RIBA Award for Architecture 1997
Client Harvey Nichols
Location London, SE1
Status Completed 1996
Architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Services Engineer MechServ
Structural Engineer Buro Happold
Main Contractor Sisk
Photography Chris Gascoigne