Carbon Bar by B3 Designers, London

December 12th, 2011 by retail design blog

The Carbon Bar is a welcome addition to the Cumberland Hotel, also home to the Kelly Hoppen designed Gary Rhodes’ W1 restaurant. Carbon features an interior inspired by industrial architecture and brings low-key, yet chic Shoreditch style to the West End.

The Guoman Group, formerly known as Thistle, approached B3 Designers to design a new bar that would become a destination venue. The interior of Carbon is a fusion of concrete, brick, steel, mesh and leather; contrasting against the inviting, outsized Chesterfields, bevelled mirrors and sketches of 21st century industrial living that cover the walls. Elegantly architectural, Carbon has been designed to maximise space, privacy and the ability to be seen all at once.

The venue contains a large 14 metre bar, as well as a mezzanine champagne bar which hangs suspended over the lower ground floor. To access the mezzanine, guests climb the stairs adjacent to a two-story champagne wall, filled with some of Taittinger’s most expensive and rare bottles.

The DJ booth is one of the most sought-after in the UK; its prominent position above the bar places each DJ at eye level with champagne-sipping guests on the mezzanine floor. The interior design also includes a Chain Room, with giant, fixed steel chains hanging from floor to ceiling, creating the effect of a room within the main bar area. VIP’s inside the Chain Room can be seen from the outside; but not touched.

The toilets continue the theme of industrial glamour and excess. The walls are adorned with mock blueprints that explain how to handle 20th century tools. The ladies’ washrooms feature scribbled instructions detailing how to handle heavy-duty machinery, including drills and sanders. The gentlemen’s toilets show similar instructions; but on second glimpse, the instructions scrawled on to the walls are from the operating manuals for ovens, irons and household objects.

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