SITE: Gaucho Restaurant Richmond
Considering the worlds of art and interior design to be somewhat inseparable, I began researching artists and analysing how they managed to captivate their audience and prompt an emotional and psychological response. In the end, I was most inspired by the work of Richard Serra, one of the pre-eminent Sculptors of the 20th century, and his use of industrial materials to create organic forms that encourage the audience to engage with their surroundings. Within my research, I observed that Serra is most influenced by the ocean as a way of thinking about space and I have aimed to translate this idea to consider the context of my site nestled on the winding River Thames in Richmond, Surrey.In this way, I have allowed the path of the river Thames in the area to influence my design and create a connection with site, context and client.
One of my main ambitions, aside from capturing the essence of the river in my design, was to maximise the potential of the space being that it was situated in a unique locality on the towpath next to Richmond bridge and Petersham meadows. This tranquil setting was missing out on making the best use of its space and views, although already an attractive restaurant, I chose to incorporate a roof garden aswell as moving the entrance to the side of the building in order for customers to enjoy the best views from the dining room (currently wasted on the entrance area). In doing so, I believe it will add to the social , environmental and economic value of the site as well as making use of its best assets: space, sunlight & access to outdoor living which is increasingly at a premium.