David Collins Studio was tasked with repositioning the Harrods own-brand chocolate offer as central to the Hall. A neutral palette, to best showcase the product offer, as well as the original coloured Edwardian tiles. The existing staircase, the oldest in Harrods, as well as Edwardian coloured tiling and decorative mouldings were to be retained and highlighted. The architecture of the hall has been exposed and fully displayed in its original state – work with Heritage England.

OPENING: May 2021
LOCATION: 87–135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
CLIENT: Harrods
SIZE: 478 sqm
SCOPE: Interior Design, FF&E

CONSULTANTS
Woods Hardwick – Architects
Emmaus Consulting – Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor Lighting Design International – Lighting
Dowling Blunt – M&E
WSP – Structural Engineers
Criocabin – Refrigeration Manufacturers Jaysam – Main Works Contractor
Dula – Fixture Contractor
Craven Dunnill Jackfield – Historic Tile Restoration
Elegant Clutter – Art Consultant

Harrods Chocolate Hall By The Studio, 74 Farm Lane - Sheet1
©David Collins Studio

David Collins Studio’s Creative Director Simon Rawlings adds –

‘‘I had a very clear idea at the beginning of this journey of refurbishment of the four historic food halls, how each would be special, unique and very different. Only now that all four rooms are completed, the picture has become reality.

Our vision for The Chocolate hall was to take the original ark tiled room and offset it with graphic neutral layers which would form a refined and luxurious backdrop to a product which can look busy. This neutral palette was formed form shimmering, textured, crafted materials, which beautifully harmonise with the chocolates, and their packaging, and pops of brass and black outline and highlight for dramatic effect.

Each corner of the hall has drama, shimmer, and luxury – with the central feature being a glass box Chocolaterie, backed with ribbon walls, beautifully stacked boxes, and all the equipment and paraphernalia required to craft the best chocolate creations.

This hall feels like it has been created specifically for the new use. The success of the marriage between old and new has created a retail environment which will inspire, intrigue, inform and excite each and every customer, whether a chocolate lover or not.

The completion of the four Harrods food halls now being complete, see the journey just beginning, and our careful restoration, approach and confidence will ensure these halls remain the best in the World for many years to come.’’

Harrods Chocolate Hall By The Studio, 74 Farm Lane - Sheet3
©David Collins Studio

INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE

Three-dimensional Edwardian ornate ceiling mouldings and tiling. DCS design celebrates and reveals the original fixtures.

Built in 1902 – 1903, the staircase in the room’s far left corner is the oldest in Harrods.

Harrods Chocolate Hall By The Studio, 74 Farm Lane - Sheet6
©The Studio, 74 Farm Lane

FF&E

Central counters – Lasa Bianco Gold Vein marble basket weave to the front of central counters. All cabinetry is custom David Collins Studio designed and made by German contractor Dula.

Curved counters around the periphery of the Hall, with back-wall display unit (with back-lit halo lighting). Each concession has half of a semi-circular island counter and a wall display. The wall displays have been carefully designed to fit within the existing tile arches, to accentuate the forms. Champagne laminate to the front of the concession counters.

Marble basket weave (hand assembled) accents to all counters but are more prominent on Harrods central counter. ‘H’ lockets carved into the Lasa Bianco Gold Vein marble with the basket weave.

Tower units sit in front of each column, with clear glass display cabinets, to show the tiles behind. Will contain chocolate sculptures. Black powder coated steel detailing and champagne brushed satin brass trim. Lacquered white sycamore timber display bases.

Harrods Chocolate Hall By The Studio, 74 Farm Lane - Sheet8
©David Collins Studio

Ceiling lighting is suspended on a suspended track to preserve the ornate original moulding. Spotlights added to the top of each column, to accentuate the rosette mouldings.

Square textured pendant lights to the four corners of the two central counters, produced by Elegant Clutter, with resin cast in hand sculpted moulds. Leaf patterns to resin shades a nod to the Hall’s past as a Floral Hall.

Bar Wall – Harrods own branded chocolate bars. To elevate the offer – emphasis on the origin and staff to provide recommendations. Visual Merchandising blocks to provide product information.

Chocolaterie – Focal counter, where the chocolate chefs make fresh chocolate (to be live streamed across Harrods socials). Angled mirrors reflect the work surface and allow people to see the chocolate making process from across the room. Refrigerated counter and display shelving to the back wall. Media screen to the back wall also.

The glass at high level to the top of the Chocolaterie is a crosshatch textured glass backed with a mirror polished champagne brass, by Float Glass.

Harrods Chocolate Hall By The Studio, 74 Farm Lane - Sheet10
©David Collins Studio

MATERIALS AND FINISHES

Lasa Bianco Gold Vein marble is used throughout, with champagne brushed satin brass metal finishes.

The original light well has been reimagined through the installation of a central back-lit faux alabaster ceiling bay.

The back face of all fixtures that sit in the arches around the perimeter of the room is lined in a metallic white vinyl wallcovering.

Timber finishes throughout are a lacquered figured sycamore veneer.

ROOM’S HISTORY

Harrods began as a wholesale grocer and tea merchant in east London, first opening its doors in 1834. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s most famous department store, known for its unrivalled range of luxury merchandise.

The Floral Hall was built during 1902-1903, as part of the Edwardian expansion of Harrods, when many grand and sumptuous rooms were created to transform the character of the store.

Fruit, vegetables and flowers were sold in the room, and the motifs in the plasterwork ceiling and the leaves and flowers of the tilework in the room reflected the products sold. The decorative glazed tiles were made not by Doulton (who made the tiles for the adjacent Market Hall), but by the Malkin Tile Works of Burslem, Staffordshire.

Early photographs show that it originally had an open light well giving a view up to the First Floor, however it was filled in around 1920, which is why the centre of the ceiling is less elaborately decorated than the sides. Large mirrors also decorate the walls.

Originally The Flowers and Palms Department, with a central light well in keeping with a High Victorian aesthetic. In 1926, the space became The Bakery Hall, with Edwardian decoration retained. The Hall was painstakingly restored in 1983 as part of a major refurbishment and extensions of the Food Halls, with the previously boarded-up Edwardian tiles uncovered and restored. The hall was reimaged as the Chocolate Hall in 1993.


2021 — ABOUT DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

David Collins Studio is the award-winning interior architecture practice that realises creative and inspirational hospitality, residential and retail projects worldwide. Established in 1985, The Studio collaborates with eminent brands and businesses that represent the best in their field, and with  private clients that share its obsession with detail, craft and refinement. Based in London, The Studio has realised projects across the world, including The Wolseley, Claridge’s Bar and The Connaught Bar, Harrods Shoe Heaven and Men’s Superbrands in London, destination bars at Gleneagles in Scotland, The Ritz-Carlton Residences at MahaNakhon in Bangkok, and The Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Studio has been instrumental in the store design and expansion of Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo, and has a residential portfolio that includes private homes, residences and amenities. In 2019, David Collins Studio also began its first maritime project, collaborating with Cunard on their next luxury cruise ship, set to launch in 2022. Most recently, the Studio has designed the public areas, restaurant and bar at the newly opened Nobu Hotel Portman Square, and ‘The Suites by David Beckham’ within The Londoner Hotel, Macao.

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