River Café, Thames Wharf Restaurant London, Building, Design, Architect
River Café London : Thames Wharf Restaurant
Interior by Stuart Forbes Associates and Richard Rogers, London, UK
7 Nov 2008
Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6 9HA
Contact the River Café: 020 7386 4200
The River Café, one of London’s most celebrated restaurants, opened its doors on 6 October after a £2 million redesign by Stuart Forbes Associates and Richard Rogers. Following a fire earlier this year, co-owners Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray commissioned Stuart Forbes and Richard Rogers to design the space with a new open kitchen, private dining room and cocktail bar.
“The dynamic relationship between the chefs, the kitchen and the public is a focal point of the design” says Stuart Forbes.
Significant additions also include a kitchen table within the working kitchen zone and a glass enclosed cheese room based on a classic Italian design. The kitchen is now completely open to public view, enabling diners to observe chefs in action. A notable addition is a new wood burning oven, dominating the dining room and kitchen. Manufactured by the Italian firm of Valoriani, this type of oven – made in Reggello, in the hills of Tuscany 25 km southeast of Florence – is key to the preparation of The River Café’s many dishes.
Commenting on the re-design, Richard Rogers states: “Stuart and I set out to make distinctive but subtle changes – we have significantly remodelled The River Café while respecting its visual identity and retaining its original elegance.”
Visitors familiar with the restaurant will also find that a new reception desk has been introduced: constructed of vivid yellow ‘Corian’ and dramatically top-lit, this new area is located next to The River Café bar, which has now been adapted and enhanced with a new back-lit bottle display. Behind the scenes, the bathrooms have been re-planned and reconstructed, with fluorescent primary colours and significantly increased space.
Stuart Forbes Associates
Stuart set up his own practice in 2006 after 15 years working at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, where he helped design some of the practice’s most iconic schemes, including The Millennium Dome and Terminal 1 and 5, Heathrow. Stuart Forbes Associates specialises in bespoke residential projects, as well as including retail and commercial schemes. Recent projects include the Blackrock Clinic Dublin, the Festival Pier London, and a mixed residential and commercial scheme in Draycott Avenue, London.
Stuart’s formative years at RSHP, established a strong emphasis on the inventive use of building materials, the qualities of light and space and the relationship between a building and its surroundings. This strength of site analysis and approach to building form is reflected in the architecture of Stuart Forbes Associates.
SFA prides itself on providing a highly accessible, personal service with the ability to deliver solutions to satisfy wide-ranging client briefs. The practice’s specialism is the delivery of high quality architecture.
Commissions range in value from £500,000 to £55,000,000 across residential houses, commercial buildings and masterplans.
Richard Rogers is one of the foremost living architects. He is the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, the recipient of the prestigious RIBA Gold Medal in 1985 and winner of the 1999 Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Medal. He is also winner of the 2000 Praemium Imperiale Prize for Architecture, the 2006 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and the 2007 Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal. Richard Rogers was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1986, knighted in 1991 and made a life peer in 1996. In 2008 he was made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. In 1995 he was the first architect ever invited to give the BBC Reith Lectures – a series entitled ‘Cities for a Small Planet’ – and in 1998 was appointed by the then Deputy Prime Minister to chair the UK Government’s Urban Task Force.
He was Chief Advisor on Architecture and Urbanism to the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and continues to play an advisory role to the current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He has also been an Adviser to the Mayor of Barcelona’s Urban Strategies Council. Richard Rogers has also served as Chairman of the Tate Gallery and Deputy Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain. He is currently a Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Richard Rogers is best known for such pioneering buildings as the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the headquarters for Lloyd’s of London, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the Millennium Dome in London. His practice – Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (formerly Richard Rogers Partnership) was established in 1977, and has offices in London, Barcelona, Madrid, New York and Tokyo. The practice has designed two major airport projects – Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow Airport and the New Area Terminal at Madrid Barajas Airport, winner of the 2006 Stirling Prize.
Other projects include Antwerp Law Courts, the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff, and an award-winning secondary school, Mossbourne Academy in London. Current projects include a new high-rise office tower on the World Trade Center site in New York, a new collection care facility for the British Museum in London and a large mixed-use scheme, Parc 1, Yeouido in Seoul, South Korea. The practice also has a wealth of experience in urban masterplanning with major schemes in London, Lisbon, Berlin, New York and Seoul.
River Café London Renewal – Building Information
Principal Contractor: Westgreen Construction ltd
M&E Engineers: E+M Tecnica LLP
Lighting Design: Contact Architectural Lighting & Controls Ltd (ALC)
Structural Engineers: Elliott Wood
Project Managers: Lavingtons
Quantity Surveyors: MPA (Construction Consultants) Ltd
River Café London images / information received 071108
Location: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, London W6 9HA
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