UK-based practice Michaelis Boyd have inserted a fresh version of Duddell’s Cantonese restaurant into a historic church in Central London. It’s intended to be an extension of the double Michelin-starred Hong Kong original, a little traditional and a little modern, a hybrid restaurant and art gallery, a cultural and social destination, and somewhere to just eat, drink, and be merry.

Set over two floors, the aesthetic of the new London Duddell’s is inspired by traditional 60s era Hong Kong tea rooms. In the centre of the first floor, a dramatic freestanding central island slash dumpling and cocktail bar is layered over in emerald green tiles, with subtle salmon-pink benchtop. Bespoke lamps made from perforated overlapping satin brass sheets hover over dining tables to create an easy, gentle glow.

Located within the historic Grade II-listed St Thomas Church, the restaurant space needed to pay heed to its historical substance too. “When designing the space, we wanted to celebrate the building’s rich history and highlight the difference between old and new,” co-founder of Michaelis Boyd, Alex Michaelis, said in a statement. “We maximised the natural light that comes into the building to accentuate key heritage features and now the former church has a new lease of life.”

The walls of the ground floor are clad in dark oak to match the original church alter, and modern chandeliers with dangling brass pendants have been carefully connected to the church’s ceiling by a series of lightweight fixtures that have minimal impact on the original structure. Floorboards have been laid with a fun geometric rubber flooring, which adds to the restaurants colour scheme, but also protects the historic parquet beneath.

 

Related: Duddell’s by Ilse Crawford: Cultural Concept Destination in Hong Kong.

 

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[Images courtesy of Michaelis Boyd. Photography by Ed Reeve.]

 

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