Brinkworth strips back 1930s London pub to create fried chicken restaurant


London studio Brinkworth and designer Michael Marriott have overhauled an old pub inside and out to create a second branch for chicken restaurant Bird.

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

The architects took a similar approach to their design for the first Bird outpost in London's Shoreditch when designing the new in nearby Islington.

Celebrating the building's 1930s architecture, they restored its original facade to reveal glazed bricks and signage. The interior was also stripped back to uncover brickwork.

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

"The patchy, mismatched brick wall to the rear of the space was a perfectly contrasting backdrop to the bright white neon Bird logo," said Marriott. "The brick adds a rich layer of texture and life to the venue."

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

Inside, intense colours and glowing neon signage are juxtaposed against rough materials. Perforated grey bricks form the main bar, continuing the dotted patterns found throughout the interior.

Blue-coloured tabletops are set between oak banquette seating and provide private booths by the restaurant windows. High tables are arranged in a grid-like formation in the centre.

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

Florescent lighting tubes are encased within perforated orange metal shades to match smaller tabletop lamps. The furniture and lighting were designed by Marriott for the space.

"It was a great process to work together with Michael on the product development and prototyping for the new tables and lights," said Brinkworth director Sonny Cant. "We have used the signature orange perforated steel, coupled with the new perforated brick, to create a strong brand aesthetic across the whole space".

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

The restaurant is situated on Holloway Road, close to the Emirates Stadium – the home ground of Arsenal football club – so the architects had to ensure the venue could accommodate large crowds.

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

Special match-day menus and counter ordering were included to provide faster service. Stools can be removed to allow for more standing room at the high tables.

Bird Islington will be followed by a third site in the chain, planned to open Camden towards the end of 2015.

Bird Islington by Brinkworth

Last year, Brinkworth designed the interior of a restaurant in central London, using rusty corrugated iron on the walls and salvaged lighting. The interior design studio also created cyclewear brand Rapha's Soho store.

Photography is by Louise Melchior.

  • MB

    I bet pints weren’t £5 a piece in the 1930s.

  • Manky

    Not the sort of place you’d want to stick around and enjoy yourself in, but I guess that’s the point. Horrible, and destroyed every essence of what was once a lovely pub.

    • olof

      No so lovely it turns out, as they had to close their doors. These are market forces at play, romanticism has little to do with it.

  • livid lili

    It seems to be the goal of every food business in the UK to be as prolific as Pret.