Tapas Brindisa, Richmond

Project info
  • Location

    Richmond, London

  • Client

    Tapas Brindisa

  • Status

    Complete

A new restaurant for iconic Spanish tapas brand, Brindisa in Richmond, London. The restaurant plays with a series of contrasts between old and new, English and Spanish, to create a vibrant and authentic customer experience that celebrates the cultures, landscapes, and food synonymous with the Brindisa brand. Diners can enjoy intimate booths, a chef’s counter, a 60-cover terrace, riverside views, and a ‘Bodega’ for private dining, tastings and celebrations.

Tapas Brindisa, Richmond, occupies Hotham House on the Richmond riverbank; a New Classical building which formed part of the 1980s Richmond Riverside redevelopment. The building occupies a prime spot with terraced grass levels that roll down to the river and is a popular location with both residents and businesses, hosting the UK headquarters of Ebay and Gumtree.

The challenge for Applied Studio was to bring a contemporary, Spanish restaurant to a traditional and very English setting, avoiding all the cliches of creating a pastiche. The solution was to focus on authenticity; many of the materials used in the design are handmade, and include cement tiles, plaster walls and decorative Spanish tiles. This gives the restaurant an abundance of texture which provides it a unique, and authentic, character. The existing building has also been used to its maximum potential; the structural columns have been stripped back to brick, the existing timber floor has retained, and the building’s character exposed. These contemporary details reinforce the vivid contrast between old and new.

The colour palette is faded, almost sun bleached (a nod to its Spanish roots). The main features stand out against this faded background with striking and bold colours – the characteristic Brindisa red and blue. A blue tiled bar front runs the length of the restaurant whilst red cladding lines some of the openings between the brick columns. It is a fun and expressive scheme that is grounded in the history and character of the existing building.

The scheme is also bright and uplifting – by necessity. The front of the restaurant is housed within an extension of sorts, separated from the rear of the restaurant by substantial structural columns. Lighting has been carefully considered to connect the internal spaces and ensure they are bright during the summer days but also cosy and intimate during the evenings and in winter. Layers of lighting have been added through small, handmade brass pendants and wall lights, alongside high level task lighting allowing for the atmosphere to be changed throughout the seasons.

The scheme is also intrinsically sustainable by design. As much as possible has been saved from the original building; the floor, the ceiling, some of the lighting, the existing structure, even the existing bar stools have been re-used. The existing WCs have been retained and given a new lease of life, as have parts of the kitchen and bar, and the majority of the HVAC has been retained and serviced with only minor amendments made where essential. The resulting restaurant is fresh and contemporary but delivered sustainably through reuse and recycling.

Photographs by Billy Bolton