Bill Amberg Studio creates dramatic installation at 22 Bishopsgate
Sculptural leather panels make a serious first impression at London’s tallest tower.
Photography: Luke Hayes Photography
M’Arks Sky Bar is a lounge, bar, roof-terrace and co-workplace in suburban London, cantilevered over Eltham high street. Taner’s Sons took a concept of ‘melt into the sky’ as their starting point, designing a dramatic and bold scheme that evolves with the passing day. During the day, it’s a place to enjoy coffee, catch up with friends and quite comfortably work from the bright lounge area. As dusk sets in, the mood completely changes; allowing guests to experience intimacy and opulence in a fluid and moody interior that nods in places to the historical Eltham Palace adjacent – namely in the form of walnut veneer wall panelling which envelopes the bar.
“From the briefing workshops we held with our client, we recognised early on that the space had to offer versatility,” comments Mustafa Afsaroglu, Co-Founder of Taner’s Sons. “They wanted guests to feel happy and relaxed during the day, and at night to feel empowered and special. In their own words “We want people to feel like they have been out for an experience, not just a drink”. As a result, we translated our understanding of the guest experience into a visual matrix (day/night against the feel, activity, and mood) which we all refer to still.”
In response, the team saw the space as a destination, with lots of different zones enabling guests to have a different encounter each time they visit. The space is organised under 4 sections; the lounge, the bar, the booths and the roof terrace.
“Our design concept was based around intimacy, fluidity, and memorability which influenced the organic form of the bar, the rose-gold sculptures behind the bar as well as many free-flowing forms achieved through bespoke joinery and custom lighting,” says Afsaroglu. “The overall palette evokes a sense of comfort, nostalgia and brightness allowing guests to easily touchdown and work but at the same time allows for the transition into an air of opulence through mood lighting when it’s dark. There are only two floor finishes in the main bar; timber floor along the glazing, and navy mosaic which climbs three flights of stairs from the ground floor up, pooling around the bar before wrapping up to create a sculpture.”
The bar area is cantilevered over the high street, a destination at the top of three flights of stairs or a lift. A big challenge for Taner’s Sons was to attract guests from street level. “We identified our biggest weapon; ceilings,” adds Afsaroglu, “and designed three rafts with integrated lighting in matching metallic finish per rose-gold bar pillars. Through reflection and lighting we wanted to entice passers-by, as well as defining the three main zones within the space.”
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