Manicomio Café and Bar, located in Chelsea’s buzzing Duke of York Square, is an all-day dining and drinking venue; serving breakfast, coffees, lunch, afternoon tea and light evening snacks with wine and cocktails to complement.
Manicomio’s brief to B3 was to refurbish their 24-cover bar and 28 cover private dining area. B3 were tasked with maximising the amount of covers for the space, whilst also creating a Look & Feel which would better reflect Manicomio’s sophisticated food. It was important to create a space that seamlessly transitioned from day time café to an evening wine bar, as well as designing openness and brightness into the restaurant.
Working with the theme of Manicomio’s name, which translates as ‘Mental Hospital’, B3 imbued the restaurant with an atmosphere of surrealism, softening this with a relationship of warmth and subtle colourful tones within the new joinery and upholstery finishes. The existing bold black and white theme was utilised more deeply into the Look & Feel of the restaurant and bar’s finishes. For example designing a monolithic new front counter, with black details contrasting the clean white marble, situating it as a centrepiece.
Surrealist artwork and mirrors evoke an on edge and self-reflective feel, balanced by the lucidity of the marble counters, confident accents of colour and warm timber furniture. The space was designed to feel both luxe and relaxed, a casual alternative to Manicomio’s next door a la carte restaurant.
Photographs by Tom Bird