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GS House
Moorside, Colchester,
Essex, CO1 2TJ

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The Thin White Duke

In January 2022, we successfully handed over this restaurant and recording studio fit-out to our client in Soho. Working from an existing recording studio unit, we carried out a complete strip out of the ground floor whilst reconfiguring the structural layout to create an open space.

A few words from the design team ‘The space was originally built across different levels which left it feeling disjointed and congested. To ease this, we stripped the ground floor back to basics and planned it meticulously to allow for the best use of space.’

Completion:
January 2022
Project Type:
Bar & Recording Studio Fit-Out
Designer:
Brooke at Caffeina Consulting
The Thin White Duke exterior

The Works

This fit-out required both electrical & plumbing work, new finishes throughout the property, complete decoration work and new flooring – not forgetting the bespoke joinery work produced by our team across the premises.

On the ground floor, we manufactured and installed a bespoke fitted bar with copper tops, a beautiful brass overhead gantry and high-level shelving around the circumference of the restaurant. The ground floor has a moody atmosphere with dim lighting and snug seating areas. Towards the stairs, two decorative toilets were installed for customer use bringing colour and light into the area.

The basement comprises of two spectacular recording studios separated by an acoustic window and a small kitchen prep area with stainless steel equipment.

From a design perspective Brooke said ‘From the beginning it was decided that the bar would take centre stage, adding a brass gantry above gave us additional storage and added visual impact. The bar is also home to further seating which helps create the social atmosphere that the business is designed around. The final piece of interest we added to the bar was a cicchetti display to showcase some of the beautiful food served on site. We made this visible from the street, to enable passers-by to have a glimpse of the offering inside.

’For flooring, we opted for an elegant wood herringbone which runs throughout and subtly guides you through the space. We added two toilets side by side in the former office area which we wanted to make beautiful, so we added half height painted walls topped with a feature wallpaper, pink marble worktops, high level cisterns and brass accents throughout. We complemented these areas with a hexagon mosaic floor tile, to complete the look’.

The Thin White Duke restroom interior design

Design Inspiration

The unique design features throughout this project are a notable talking point. Below are a few words from the client, Sasha and Giovanni, to understand their design visions behind the ‘Thin White Duke’.

“The Thin White Duke is a distinctly design-led space. Our initial sounding board for the interiors was to create a concept that spoke to our inspiration – Bowie – without verging on the kitsch or the tacky. We did not want to create a theme bar but rather a homage to one of our shared heroes. To this end, we took inspiration from Bowie’s eclectic tastes and electric personalities. The design is led by two distinctly different and discordant visions, healed together – as in the art of Kintsugi – to create an element of true surprise as you explore the space. The main retail area will feature an industrial aesthetic with nods to Berlin – the city that Bowie loved and which led to the creation of his Thin White Duke. But as the customer journeys through the venue, they will be met with a fantastical world inspired by Bowie’s love of oriental fashion and design. An Irezumi tiger mural painted by tattoo artist Claudia de Sabe leads you down to the recording studios. The first studio is a relaxing salon space inspired by 19th-century Chinoiserie parlours and the second features a high church aesthetic and a stained glass mural of Bowie surrounded by adoring saints, created by Danielle Croft of Luna Glassworks. They are linked by the vocal booth – a fantasia with floor-to-ceiling Japonisme designs from Christian Lacroix”

One of the most impressive features of this fit-out is the hand-painted tiger mural on the wall leading to the recording studios in the basement. We love the vibrancy and quirkiness carried through to the downstairs studios where the glass-stained illuminated artwork is.

Challenges

The Thin White Duke is a small and compact unit along a narrow and busy road which caused challenges with deliveries and the overall running of the project. Working alongside the design team, we maximised the space by implementing innovative solutions such as fold-down tables and overhead storage. Our team programmed all of the works logistically to limit construction time, meaning we could use the space and time effectively to achieve the client’s requirements.

With everyone’s combined efforts on this project, we are extremely pleased with the end result, delivering a unique and innovative space for our client and their guests.

Final words from the design team: ‘The finished design of The Thin White Duke has created a gem in the heart of Great Windmill Street. A space to be admired for its interesting design and layout as well as its state of the art recording rooms, delicious menu and cocktail selections created by a mixologist.’

Photos by : Nathan McCabe Photography & Daryl McCabe Photography

Video by: Kornel Flint Media

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