Awarded with two Michelin stars, Duddell’s has been a sought-after luxury restaurant in Hong Kong for a couple of years, when entrepreneur trio Alan Lo, Paulo Pong and Yen Wong opened the house in the central part of the city. Now for the first time, the Cantonese restaurant wins a branch in another country. The new address is the historic St Thomas Church, in the heart of Southwark, London, and has a project signed by the London architecture office Michaelis Boyd.
“When we created the design project, we wanted to celebrate the building’s historic richness and highlight the differences between the old and the new,” says Alex Michaelis, co-founder of the studio. “That’s why we take full advantage of the natural light that bathes the building to accentuate features of the original architecture.”
The idea is that the restored building, the inspiration comes from the traditional Hong Kong tea houses of the 1960s, functions as a setting for high-end gastronomy as well as for art. The house led by chef Daren Liew will display works by contemporary artists.
There are two floors: while the ground floor is designed to focus on the original dark wood altar of the church, the mezzanine has a wide view of the hall with an eight-meter ceiling. Tiles in an intense green shade line the bar area and the open kitchen, from which drinks and the famous dim sum portions.
The geometric and colorful floor made of rubber contrasts with the dark oak flooring that defines the outline of the restaurant. An oversized blue leather sofa was strategically positioned beneath the four-foot-high windows, providing abundant natural light during lunch. Modern chandeliers have been connected to the ceiling by lightweight structures to interfere as little as possible in the original architecture, while at the same time dialog with the building.