A bold and striking new design concept for Russian tearoom operator Teaspoon: a 6 year-old and 70-strong Russian chain of tea and pancake houses, based mainly in the St Petersburg and Moscow regions in high street and hypermarket locations. The Teaspoon offer is based around a range of speciality teas, along with savoury and sweet pancakes. Each pancake is made to order and so the client brief asked to underline the theatricality of the preparation process, whilst customers await their order. The new design also had to encapsulate a broader offer including coffee, cakes and also draught beer, created as a separated offer with a dedicated till and aimed at different customer timeslots in the day and evening.
The new 300 sq m space had a natural sense of theatre with an exceptionally high 6m void below the beams (and a further 2m above) and existing industrial-feel exposed ceilings, with enough volume to allow for an interior treatment of strong colours and dramatic design features.
SHH wanted to achieve a clean, light and dramatic feel for the interior, building on the existing orange brand identity. The designers were also briefed to create a highly contemporary concept, but one that was specifically Russian and non-generic!
The strongest new design feature – a 6m-high wraparound ceramic wall – took the existing orange of the Teaspoon brand and added two further tones of orange, along with black and white for contrast. Taking inspiration from traditional Russian folkloric art, the colours were combined to create a location-specific, huge scale ceramic wall, which dominates the space.
The main space customer seating area takes the form of large, communal, picnic-style tables; some with benches and some higher up with loose seating, whilst some tables are single and others double-sided, so that all types of users, from single users to group users can all feel comfortable at them. Above the main seating area and balancing out the impact of the tiled ceramic wall is a series of ten giant-scale, bespoke hanging pendant lights in black with an orange interior.
A more intimate area down one side of the new space features booth seating, with bespoke-designed high-backed orange seats and orange perspex low-pendant lights above each table. A lounge area, with a different design treatment, houses 8 smaller round tables and loose furniture.
Location: St Petersburg, Russia
Design team: Neil Hogan, Helen Hughes
Status: Completed 2008