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Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2011

Best Multiple Restaurant Winner and Best Overall Restaurant Winner

Busaba Bicester is the first Busaba to open outside London. The restaurant opened in December 2010 in the Bicester Village Retail Park. The opportunity offered in this location included a space that provided 9m high ceilings and a mezzanine floor overlooking the main dining room. The approach to detailing retained the defining aspects of the earlier Busaba restaurants. Walls are lined in stained rattan with bronze panels at low level, the bars and pantries are detailed in black slate and dark colours are retained creating a warm welcoming atmosphere.

However, the character of the unit benefits from the lining of the double height volume with dark wood and deep beams, the lanterns and fans are hung from high level and agree with the layout of the
teak communal dining tables. The entrance is separated by a Thai screen through which the dining hall, dramatic staircase and public balcony can all be viewed while waiting to be seated. The external areas are also developed further. The terracedining area is surrounded with a pool containing lilies and planted with Frangipani trees, in addition to being supplied with a retractable fabric canopy and heating for diners on chilly evenings.

The challenge with the lighting was to bring out the texture of the finishes yet maintain the feeling of intimacy at the dining table. The 9m high ceilings are grazed with narrow beam linear LED fittings that emphasises the dramatic double height volume that has been lined with dark wood and deep beams. The tables are lit with custom pendants which give both an ambient glow and a focussed beam onto the centre of the table. Perimeter down lights highlight the texture of the stained rattan and bronze panelling in the perimeter of the space.

Photography: Keith Collie & Busaba

Lead designer
David Archer Architects
Firefly Lighting Design

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