Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects
references food crates and packaging

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Jagged shelving units and scored surfaces were designed to evoke the look of food crates and packaging at this London butcher and delicatessen by local office Fraher Architects (+ slideshow).

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

The client asked Fraher Architects to design an interior for The Quality Chop Shop in London's Farringdon that promotes the quality ingredients used in its neighbouring restaurant.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

The architects chose utilitarian materials and raw finishes to reference the packing materials used to transport food to the shops and eateries that surround London's historic Smithfields and Exmouth markets.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

"The most unusual aspect of the response to the brief was to focus on the packaging aspect of produce used within the restaurant and the cooking profession as a whole," architect Lizzie Webster told Dezeen.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

"To continue this wrapped packaging theme through the layout of the display shelves, the joinery and lighting itself was a challenge," she added.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

Food is displayed on shelves and counters made from plywood, which were stained black in reference to the charred or sprayed labels commonly found on wooden packing crates.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

The edges of the shelves expose the raw plywood to create a contrast with the blackened surfaces and give the impression of packaging that has been sliced open.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

Each of the wall-mounted shelves has a jagged profile, creating an effect that appears to thrust the product forward, and items are framed against a dark background by the edges of the shelves.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

Exposed light bulbs suspended from simple black cords were chosen to reinforce the rough-and-ready aesthetic.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

Black cord also creates a criss-crossing pattern in front of the windows that recurs in an inverted form around the edge of the central display and sales point.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

Original black and white tiles behind the butcher's counter were retained and continue the basic palette used throughout the space.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging

Photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

Here's a project description from Fraher Architects:


Quality Chop Shop, Farringdon

We have just finished working on the design and fabrication for the Quality Chop Shop in Farringdon, London. The shop sits next door to the Quality Chop House which has a reputation for excellent cooking and good quality ingredients. The Client approached us to consider design proposals for the refurbishment of the adjacent shop unit that had recently become available.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging
Axonometric diagram - click for larger image

The food had to be displayed in a clear and simple manner, but pay reference to the utilitarian aesthetic of the food units surrounding Smithfields meat market and Exmouth Market.

The fit out elements such as the counter, produce display and lighting deserved to portray a textured and slightly rough finish, hence the display of end grain to all the plywood joinery.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging
Floor plan - click for larger image

The deep black stain contrasts sharply with the timber core of the units, reflecting the blackened character of timber food crates. The blackened stain plywood is reinforced by the use of cable lighting that represents the packaging and the wrapping of the food produced. The use of exposed bulbs reflects the raw nature of the food preparation that relies on exceptional raw ingredients.

Access to the working kitchen of the Quality Chop House restaurant was important to ensure that the fresh food and cake trays are constantly re-stocked with baked good throughout the day.

Quality Chop Shop butcher by Fraher Architects references food crates and packaging
Section - click for larger image

The project was delivered to a tight deadline, with Fraher and Co fabricating and installing the joinery within five days on site.