Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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Red Deer blends 1920s glamour and brutalism at Arcade Battersea

Red Deer has revived a long-forgotten ‘power station canteen’ concept at Battersea Power Station.


2 min read

The latest venture for design practice Red Deer, the 25,000 sq ft Arcade food hall is now open inside the heart of the newly restored Battersea Power Station. The space takes inspiration from the two eras the Station was built in, merging the glamour of the 1920s with a Brutalist 1950s style across 13 ‘cuisine concepts’ for 500 covers, as well as three restaurants and a private dining room.

“The size of the space – and number of covers – meant we needed to approach the design in a different way from how we usually would,” explains Red Deer’s lead architect Lionel Real de Azúa. “We achieved this by creating a taxonomy of vernaculars that could be applied to any dining space in the food hall, which included specific design language for the wall types, floor types, bar types and counter types that could be applied in a number of ways depending upon the layout of each hospitality space.”

Red Deer researched staff canteen and bar typologies from the early to mid-20th century, pulling together furniture, shapes and colours that subtly references the original building’s character. The main bar shape is modelled after the former power station control room, taking material cues from the iconic heritage of the grade II listed building – incorporating wood, tile, brushed stainless steel and copper into the design, a colour palette inspired by the era, and even wayfinding made up of the power station’s original feeder panels.

Being able work sustainable elements into such a large-scale project was important for Red Deer, who are renowned for reusing and repairing existing site’s materials. The timber flooring throughout the food hall is made of reused oak boards, supplied by Broadleaf, while all the tiling is sourced by Architile, ensuring it uses approximately 60 per cent recycled materials.

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