River Café by Stuart Forbes and Richard Rogers

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Stuart Forbes Associates and Richard Rogers have redesigned the famous River Café in London, UK.


The redesign unites kitchen and dining room and features a large wood-fired oven.


The restaurant, owned by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, temporarily closed earlier this year following a fire.
Photographs by Grant Smith. The following is from Stuart Forbes Associates and Richard Rogers:


New look River Café unveiled

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.

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Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 4:14 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • Nasty Tramp

    looks quite 80’s? maybe thats what they wanted.

  • Omar


  • freedom


  • atomant

    yeah, it is kinda cold..brrr. even the clock is cold!

  • http://labforfun.com labforfun

    I like the cheese-dispenser…that’s all.

  • croftdesign

    ice cold. let’s have dinner in the freezer, what’dya say?

  • lana

    is it possible to see pictures of how it was before?


  • http://rossvon@gmail.com Ross von Ruben

    Cold indeed but I think it is intentional. All the muted colours will create focal point when a plate of colourful food is placed in front of the diner. Sort of a relaxing Mood Food sensation!

    Also a bright coloured Host stand lends itself to a warm welcome.

    I love it.

  • Abe Chan

    This space lacks a human touch. I would rather sit in a warmer space and feel comfortable, to appreciate food, than undergo some kind of ‘constrasted 80’s industrial’ interior to force an appreciation of food.

  • dA

    does anyone commenting know of rogers work?
    or know what kind of vibe the restaurant has?
    I think the design will work well with the sth west LDN scene…