Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes


Places & Faces

The British Museum, by Softroom

Architecture and design studio Softroom has renovated a restaurant beneath the glazed roof installed by Norman Foster over the Great Court of the British Museum in London.

Situated at the rear of the museum’s iconic reading room, the restaurant wraps around a section of the curved wall and has been adapted to provide more open and welcoming spaces, enhancing its connection with the adjacent public foyer.

“This was an important opportunity to create a relaxed and informal restaurant in one of London’s most visited public spaces,” said Softroom director Chris Bagot.

“We were inspired by the colour and detail of the historic reading room, as well as by the more neutral foil of the Sir Norman Foster Great Court scheme,” he explained.

The brief called for a variety of spaces offering distinct dining experiences, so the architects separated the floor plan into areas with different degrees of privacy and views of food preparation.

Softroom employed materials that reference the reading room, as well as the neutral tones of the Great Court, and introduced colour and texture through wooden furniture and teal-coloured upholstery.

Further surface detailing is provided by flooring made from limestone, silver glazed tiling and marble mosaic, which is laid in a pattern that radiates outwards from the round reading room.

Article via


Beth F