Harrods is the gem of London and a national British treasure. Founded in the early 19th century by the Harrod family, the name is synonymous with prestige and great history. From the courteous door attendants, called “Green Men”, to the excellent service customers receive in the many departments, Harrods is known as a luxury retailer and service provider. It is famous for its creative window displays, luxury brands, exquisite architecture, and its flagship concepts. In an effort to showcase the trendsetting ability of Harrods, Knightsbridge as a flagship store and to transform it into the 21st century retailer that it now is, umdasch has been commissioned to provide the design engineering, manufacturing, delivery, and installation services.
Credit: Kensington Leverne
Following completion of the refurbishment of the Roast and Bake Hall, the Champagne, Wines and Spirits Hall, the Men’s International Design Room 1, and the Harrods Signature Hall, umdasch has completed the third phase of the historic Dining Hall. As part of the 10-year plan to renovate the iconic Harrods Knightsbridge store, the Dining Hall, covering a space of 500 sq m, opened in June. It was a huge, long-term project that showcased the ongoing collaborative work of umdasch and other design and architectural renovation professionals.
The project, which included the redesign of the unique room and entailed a number of requirements, was completed in collaboration with David Collins Studio, once again. The focus of the revamp and design of the historic building, with its listed, painted tiles that cover the room from floor to ceiling, centered around the preservation of the cherished heritage and atmosphere. The ceiling was cleaned in order to highlight the beautiful colors and patterns. This canopy of detailed tiles frames the fixtures and fittings provided by umdasch in a manner that showcases the contrast between antique and modern.
Only the finest, top-quality materials were used for the new design concept. Specially treated smooth leather covers the seats, with beautiful trimmings and little exotic bird emblems presented on the backs of the Wine Bar seats in the center of the Dining Hall. An array of glass, marble, mirrors, wood, and solid, antique brass enchants visitors in the luxurious atmosphere. Round, globe-shaped lamps equipped with brass hardware illuminate individual areas. Lighting Design International provided the lighting design, highlighting the classy metals and shiny tiles, while remaining in line with the antique touches of the historic building.
“Before the renovation, the Dining Hall offered various top-quality, counter-seated dining. The new layout allows for more than double the seating capacity that was previously available; however, it still feels spacious and comfortable due to the clever seating plan and high-quality furniture”, said Simon Wait, Sales Director of umdasch UK. The new concept also includes various mini banquet-seating areas, some lining the newly separated eateries and some surrounding separate tables in a cozy dining corner as well as a long dining table, separated into intimate pairs by lights.
The wide array of eateries, comprised of six new restaurants, serves the finest seasonal foods. Visitors can find some of the world’s best wine and oysters, freshly served on built-in ice beds, as well as cuisine cooked by the 150 in-house chefs.
“Working with umdasch to complete our third and most historic Food Hall within Harrods has been a delight – their team is excellent, and they are brilliant collaborators,” said Lewis Taylor, Design Director of David Collins Studio. “We are very proud to have been trusted to deliver yet another prestigious hall for our valued client. The last time those food halls were renovated stretches back to the 1980s. These projects have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, which, undoubtedly, will stand the test of time,” added Roman Fussthaler, Managing Director of Premium Retail at umdasch The Store Makers.
Rooted in craftsmanship, visionary in the digital realm, always geared towards a human purpose and a specific goal – the execution of successful stores. umdasch The Store Makers creates extraordinary worlds of experience for discerning customers in the fields of lifestyle retail, food retail, premium retail, and digital retail. Employing more than 1,500 people, umdasch The Store Makers is one of Europe’s leading shopfitting companies. Its headquarters are located in Amstetten, Austria. Operating approximately 20 branches in Europe and the Middle East, umdasch’s four divisions carry out more than 7,000 shopfitting projects and 100 general contractor projects annually. The fourth-generation company, together with its sister company Doka and more than 180 logistics and sales branches in 70 countries, has been owned by the umdasch family for 150 years.