Adam Richards Architects (ARA), an structure observe with studios in London and Sussex, has unveiled its design for what’s seemingly the primary sit-down floating fromagerie in the UK: The Cheese Barge.
Now completely moored alongside the Grand Union Canal in central London’s 11-acre Paddington Central mixed-use district, ARA’s 65-foot-long custom-designed vessel is dwelling to the most recent addition to restauranteur and gourmand grilled cheese guru Mathew Carver’s British cheese-focused culinary empire. That follows the Cheese Truck and the Cheese Bar, the latter being Carver’s flagship restaurant within the historic Camden Stables Market. The Cheese Bar’s buoyant new counterpart, the Cheese Barge, gives a lot of the identical however in a barely offshore setting.
Topped with a sloping, verdigris-colored patinated metallic roof that references each the tarpaulin covers of working canal barges and the inclined sides of basic canal boats, ARA’s design for the double-decker Cheese Barge was the successful entry in a 2018 design competitors hosted by actual property improvement firm British Land. Whereas the barge pays homage to the historic vessels populating London’s canal system, inspiration additionally got here from extra unsuspecting locations, together with—relatively topically —James Stirling’s Electa bookshop pavilion on the Giardini della Biennale in Venice. As famous in a press launch showcasing the Cheese Barge, Stirling’s design was itself ship-inspired.
“It’s fantastic to be requested to design an area for the pleasurable exercise of consuming and consuming on the canal,” stated Adam Richards, director of ARA, in an announcement. “The barge creates a festive and complicated atmosphere, while drawing on the heritage of narrow-boat design and native social historical past. It has additionally been a possibility to pay homage to James Stirling’s Electa bookshop in Venice: one in every of my favorite buildings. That constructing was impressed by the designs of boats—so it was enjoyable to design a ship based mostly on a constructing based mostly on a ship!”
Additional non-nautical design inspiration got here from the life and work of Hertha Marks Ayrton, a trailblazing electrical engineer who lived in Paddington in the course of the early twentieth century. In tribute to Ayrton, who was the primary feminine awarded with the Royal Society of London’s Hughes Medal for her analysis into electrical arcs, ARA integrated copper tones all through the vessel. Copper, as ARA identified, is a typical materials utilized in electrical experiments resulting from its excessive stage of conductivity.
Along with copper, the restaurant’s cozy inside, designed by Raven Collective, is stuffed with maritime touches together with wall sconces reclaimed from outdated ship passageways, boat cleats, and buoy-esque desk lamps.
The vessel itself was hand-welded and assembled in Somerset by Darren Gervis, Marine Fabrications, and was constructed to completely navigate the locks and tunnels of London’s canal system. Entry to the boat is on the identical stage because the canal towpath, with restrooms and the 40-seat important eating room, which is wrapped in a sheath of glazing, on that very same stage. A flight of stairs larger on the higher deck of the boat is an uncovered terrace the place friends can nibble al fresco on mozzarella and smoked bacon grilled cheese sandwiches or eight totally different cheese board varieties..
The Cheese Barge’s kitchen is positioned on a separate vessel related to the principle boat by an exterior bridge, a transfer that maximizes the quantity of usable ground area inside the principle boat whereas additionally offering a “theatrical stage for the arrival of meals to diners” in keeping with the agency. The design of the kitchen-boat, “handled as an ancillary area,” was impressed by nautical buoys.
Becoming a member of ARA, Raven Collective, and Darren Gervis on the undertaking had been naval architect CP Heath Marine Consultants (additionally mechanical and electrical engineer) and undertaking supervisor CPC Challenge Providers.
Though the undertaking skilled important delays because of the pandemic, the Cheese Barge is now open and taking reservations.