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[highlight1]  Nando’s – Westfield Stratford City  [/highlight1]

Harrison related the design back to the scale of the building by including large features to compensate i.e. oversizing to the trumpet light fittings, increased servery length and floor finishes scales. The hazel ceiling feature was created to envelop the central areas and connect the space as a whole. To soften the effect of the high ceiling, we dropped sparkly glass pendant lights and an intensity of tiny ‘firefly’ lights through the central areas at varied lower levels, provide sparkle and movement, this in turn also ups the presence of the store from outside areas.

Everyone involved in producing this restaurant were anxious to see fresh, innovative and dynamic ideas that would complement the sheer scale and grandeur of the Stratford development, while still embodying the Nando’s brief of feeling African and Portuguese, natural, warm, fun and creative.

An avenue of magnificent olive trees guides customers into the restaurant where they are met with a symphony of design features and creative finishes. As a flagship store, it was essential that Harrison maintained the ‘Nando’s feel’, which was achieved by creating a strong link back to their African roots.

All the artwork was produced by African Artists as were the ceramic ‘pages’ (tiles). Harrison collaborated closely with the Spier Arts Academy based in Cape Town to produce the pages, each of the 800 tiles are individual and handmade by artists there.

Dean Concannon, Harrison Design, said:

“It is always fantastic to work with Nando’s as they are all creative and passionate about everything that they do, which makes our job a pleasure. It came as no surprise that the company was voted Sunday Time’s best big company to work for in 2010 because they are such an innovative, energetic team and they are bursting with ideas that we are more than happy to help implement.

“The best thing about working with Nando’s is that each project is completely different. Whilst certain features remain the same – for instance the use of terracotta and reclaimed timber – the design is constantly adapting and changing and we are continually adding new elements to keep the Nando’s experience fresh.”

“Shopping centres are always a challenge because everyone in the building finishes at the same time – for the Stratford job, this was around 7,000 people per day and as a result, we had to work around the clock. Luckily we have an excellent working relationship with the main contractor for the project – French Joinery – and we were able to launch a fully coordinated attack. Jobs like this have to be completed like a military operation or they just won’t happen.”

“This was a challenging project as the Cannon Street station was located directly above the restaurant. When it rains, it can take a week or more for the water to percolate down through the soil and we would then have to work out where the water would come out. Heating was another issue due and we had to introduce underfloor heating as some of the ceilings were ten metres high.

“However, we love a challenge and working in such varied locations keeps the work interesting. Furthermore, French Joinery were able to demonstrate their practical approach when faced with such technical difficulties and their work was both efficient and effective.”

“Nando’s is one of the fastest-growing chains in the UK and we are very excited to be a part of their success. We enjoy every project that we undertake with the chain and look forward to developing our working relationship with them through future projects.”

Interior Design & Materials:

Every Nando’s location is unique, which affords a good degree of creativity to the architects and designers and avoids the formulaic interiors often seen in chain restaurants. Stand-out features in this restaurant include a hand-woven hickory ceiling supported by carved timber columns, vibrant artwork, bespoke wall tiles, a copper bar, cast concrete seating booths and mosaic flooring.

Artwork and art tiles:

Most of the artwork in the restaurant was produced by African artists at the Spier Arts Academy in Cape Town, South Africa, working in collaboration with Harrison. This includes the 800 ceramic ‘pages’ tiles, which are installed at the entrance, each of which was individual and handmade. Tile supplier Parkside Tiles made cream tiles in a bespoke size to fit between the pages tiles, and maintain visual consistency, as the full wall had to be covered.

The artwork above the kitchen area mostly comprised canvas pieces, using paints and mixed media, along with some mosaics and beaded artwork.

Wall tiles:

Grey glazed wall tiles, used at the front of the kitchen and on the back wall, were made by Solus Ceramics to a size specified by the design team. They were rough glazed to reflect light well and were installed in a vertical brick-bond format consistent with the artwork above them.

Mosaic floor:

The luxuriously patterned black and gold mosaic tiled floor, featuring products supplied by Parkside Tiles, has led to Harrison being nominated for The Tile Association awards 2012, for the best use of tiles in a hospitality project.

Parkside Tiles were approached by Nando’s to supply tiles for their flagship store at Westfield Retail Park at Stratford City. The result was a stunning, eye-popping array of colour, shape and texture that truly showcases the tiles through a design that challenges the breadth and depth of use of the humble ceramic, its design and application.


The copper bar was designed by Harrison and constructed by fit-out specialists the French Group. This sweeping seven-metre long server has an organic, rolling, golden oak counter top and a snaking frontage clad in glistening polished copper ‘armadillo’ bands.

Wall cladding:

At the rear of the restaurant, timber shingles (FSC labelled to Nando’s requirements) were used to clad a large area of wall. Timber shingles are generally used for external cladding applications, so Harrison asked the contractor apply an aging fluid to weather them artificially to give them a reclaimed feel. The shingles introduce additional rustic texture into the scheme. The design tiles to the entrance area, the commissioned artwork above the servery area and the timber shingles are all bespoke and supplied on a 1:1.5 ratio, so there is a visual consistency flowing through the curved wall, from the entrance to the very rear of the restaurant.

Timber floor:

Wide engineered board, burnt oak flooring was supplied in a time-worn effect. It provides natural warmth and harmonises with other rustic elements of the interior while contrasting with the raw concrete circular booths and the soft red leather upholstery.

Hazel ceiling:

The large, heavily textured hazel ceiling coffer was formed with 10 metre long panels that were traditionally woven in a Suffolk field using split hazel branches by master hurdle maker David Downie. They were transported to site by articulated lorry, before being very carefully lifted and knitted into place overhead.

Column artwork:

Four huge circular columns punctuate the hazel weave with spiralling swirls of colour. Two of the columns have been created by the artistic arrangement of hundreds of individual recycled bottle tops and the final two are made up of thousands of tightly coiled paper rolls from unwanted magazine publications bonded onto the column face. These are just one of the artworks created by Spier Arts Academy.

Kitchen equipment:

Kitchen equipment includes a six metre long co-ordinator, an extensive cookline equipment run, 30 square metres of cold room storage, a separate room housing four combi ovens and a large wash-up area with full recycling waste management. These facilities allow the restaurant to serve in excess of 200 customers.


Over the course of the past decade, Harrison has worked on over 100 sites for this high profile Portuguese chicken restaurant chain, with each venue giving rise to individual design challenges.

One of Harrison’s most recent designs, and also one of the largest, is Nando’s Westfield Stratford City, which accommodates up to 260 diners in Europe’s largest urban shopping centre.

Every Nando’s is unique, with a common thread of African and Portuguese-inspired decor. Standout features in this restaurant include a hand-woven hickory ceiling supported by carved timber columns, as well as vibrant African artwork and mosaic flooring.

About Nando’s:

Founded in 1987, the Nando’s chain now operates in thirty countries spanning five continents. Boasting a scrumptious menu that is bursting with authentic Afro-Portuguese flavours, the family-friendly chain has since become synonymous with delicious flame-grilled chicken and spicy PERi-PERi sauce.

In 1992, Nando’s expanded to the UK, opening their first restaurant in Ealing, London. The organisation now celebrates over 250 restaurants across the United Kingdom in locations including Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.

One factor that has remained constant throughout the expansion of the Nando’s chain is leading international design consultancy Harrison Design, who has completed over 200 projects for the organisation over the last 14 years.

With over 300,000 Twitter followers and more than 900,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, it is fair to say that Nando’s has tickled taste buds across the globe.

[highlight1]  Project Data  [/highlight1]

Project name: Nando’s – Westfield Stratford City
Location: Westfield Shopping Centre, Westfield E20 1ET, Stratford, London, England, United Kingdom
Type: Lounge / Bar / Restaurant / Night Clubs
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 7,500  sqf
Cost: £ 1m
Completion Year: 2011

  • 2012 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards – Restaurant & Bar Design Awards – Multiple restaurant Category – Shortlist
  • 2011 WAN Awards – Interior + Design Awards – ENTRY

Visit Nando’s Website: here

[highlight1]  The people  [/highlight1]

Client / Owner / Developer: Nando’s
Interior Designer: Harrison, 39 Margaret Street, London W1G 0JQ, United Kingdom
Project Designer: Philip Harrison, Dean Concannon, Kevin Plant
Loose furniture: Classic Furniture, Eclipse Contract Furniture
Tiles: Parkside Tiles, Solus Ceramics, Spier Art Academy
Lighting: Light Corporation
Hazel ceiling: David Downie, Hurdle Maker
Kitchen equipment: Catering Projects, Chapmans Ventilation
Columns: Artscene (bottle cap decoration)
Bar: French Group
Concrete booths: Mass Concrete
Booth seating upholstery: Phil James
Blinds & Curtains: British Blinds
HVAC: Caswell Engineering Services Ltd.
Text Description: © Courtesy of Harrison, esiinteriors, premierconstructionnews
Images: © Harrison

[highlight1]  Location Map  [/highlight1]

[map:https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=208513009578745261626.0004c6b31d2c61badd08c&msa=0&ll=51.542545,-0.007038&spn=0.016868,0.045447_map 450 325]

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