Having looked into Restaurant design and the theory behind it, there was one particular book that really spoke to me, Restaurant Design by Bethan Ryder, published in 2004 which although is nearly 10 years old now, has proven to me that there are some ideas that through their simplicity, just work, no matter when they were first documented.
Below are a number of statements from the book that I wish to use to form the foundations of my design and interpretation of the space because to me they fit the brief very comfortably both in terms of the historic content (of which The Rose and Crown fits well) and in terms of its modernist and certainly relevant by todays standards, thought process.
- “Since the grand banquets of Greek/Roman times, eating with others in public has been associated with entertainment and performing arts such as music and dance.” Pg 7.
This ties in very comfortably with the intentions of this particular public house, specifically the summer months sees the arrival of two major annual events that focus around ale, live bands and a long weekend involving DJ’s – modern day entertainment and performing arts at its best some may argue.
Tables for much more than just a couple sitting quietly enjoying each others company in the corner are set out across the entire location, there are tables and chairs laid out for as many as 8 which just proves larger parties are not only welcome, but a regular occurrence.
2. “As space shrinks in the cities of the developed world and citizens have less private room to call their own, they are increasingly opting to dine out in public spaces. In our ‘life style’ obsessed times, these public arenas are where the modern urbanite performs his or her identity – where you eat or drink defines, to an extent, your social self.”
This statement has so much to say. Choosing one of these specialised ‘arenas’ to spend your hard earned money and free time is not down to pure coincidence. These venues have worked hard (most of the time) to create an identity that appeals to their audience. They use marketing tools to entice clients over the threshold with furniture, appealing colour pallets and cleverly placed trinkets that appeal, not to everyone, but to those that may feel familiar within such surroundings, an extension of ones personality just as one may express themselves through clothing or other material means.
Dining inside or out in such a comfortable, familiar environment allows those who lack the space within their own home to relax, whether it be in the nearby pub or restaurant, it allows one to escape without feeling too uncomfortable or unsettled in unfamiliar territory.
3. “(Jean Anthelm) Brillat-Savarin says ‘ Hospitality became a chivalrous and gallant thing” as travellers increase and trade routes developed during mid 17th Century”
Bethany Ryder then goes on to state;
“In terms of design: these places were merely functional. Taverns offering a fixed price meal (table d’hôte) varied from single rooms to a property with multiple rooms complete with gardens, out houses and bowling greens.”
This makes me think of a couple of things;
1.The kind of person that was to been seen in these venues would have been one that wore pride and a sense of duty on their arm.
I would assume that these routes were lonesome and at times hostile so arriving at a location that appeared warm and welcoming with familiarities, food and companionship would be ideal, competition no doubt would have been rife.
2. Design needed to entice the gallant traveller through the simplicity of form and structure. Their stay would have been short as they passed through these places, yet needing to accommodate all their requirements the layout would have been simple and easy to navigate through.
To tie these points in with The Rose and Crown is not difficult. The history of Chelmsford goes back to the Middle Ages when in 1199 a charter from the King gave the right for the town to hold weekly markets. These markets had merchants and craftsmen attracting consumers from all over the country but especially London as the old Roman roads linking the city to the town had long since been established.
4. “(Restaurant design is) A kind of zeitgeist shorthand that communicates the popular themes and preoccupations of the day.
This is a great statement for guidance when designing this garden. It identifies that good design, layout and usage of these spaces should appeal directly to the current needs, wants and desires of the audience. These could vary from seasonal, annual or even spontaneous community inspired fashions and should form the foundation of designing a space whether it be for consumer or privately owned spaces.
5. (Said of hotels but relevant across the board)
“Using colours, materials and shapes in ways that go beyond the ordinary, that hotel should be an innovative, dream inspiring space.”
“It is one of the main reasons – if not the only reason – by which people choose a place to stay, or how they distinguish one brand from another. We have travelled to escape the daily routines of our lives and experience new sensations.”
6. “We are living in an era where consumers’ appetite for originality are increasing. People are after places that are intimate, comfortable, open and ultimately, places that encourage togetherness.”