When London-based B3 Designers was appointed to transform Hotel de la Paix Geneva’s new Fiskebar restaurants and bar, contemporary Nordic minimalism was the starting point for the design’s inspiration.
This theme reflects the restaurants’ cuisine concept – the first of its kind in the Swiss capital’s prestigious neighbourhood. The harmonious connection with nature, the neutral deeper and darker tones and detailing, abundance of raw materials and weathered textures against minimalistic furniture, whilst retaining elements of timeless rich luxury, has embodied the design ethos of this 220m² space.
There are four distinct yet interconnecting areas at play – the chic and intimate fine-dining restaurant, the more casual raw kitchen counter with its high-table communal seating, the luxurious bar and its cosy opulent lounge. The Nordic theme throughout these spaces evolves from sophisticated modern elegance, to playfully fashion-forward.
A refined atmosphere is created in Fiskebar’s fine-dining restaurant, featuring a spacious and comfortable layout of smooth oak and dark, raw tones. Guests are invited to relax into plush banquettes and cosy armchairs in neutral and warm leather, and dine on slate-topped tables with brass detail. The walls are lined with raw yet smooth, grey-toned timber panelling – a remarkable back-drop for British artist Adam Ross’ grand installation of hand-made abstract ceramic oyster forms of varying shapes and sizes, which was specially commissioned for this project.
The exquisitely understated Dinesen oak flooring seamlessly connects this room to the raw kitchen counter and bar, along with the large distressed beams installed overhead. This casual minimalistic yet elegant dining area, with its open kitchen and raw food counter display, features two long communal tables with stick-back style high chairs, as well as smaller tables for couples. Futuristic long tubular pendant lights hover above the communal tables creating a more casual fish market style atmosphere. The green glazed brick wall tiles in the exposed kitchen contrasts against the dominating dark finishes of the rest of the space. The timber wall panelling is carried through to this space, but with the addition of antique seeded mirrors. Handblown glass pendant lighting is hung in clusters by the windows with views to the terrace.
COCKTAIL BAR AND LOUNGE
B3 Designers were fortunate to have some pre-existing heritage-listed features to work with in the cocktail bar and lounge, which include antique wall panelling as well as classic French mouldings and 150-year old parquet and walnut floor. This room was rumoured to have once been used for the drafting of the Geneva Convention, and the antique gilded dove-shaped door handles make a poignant reference to Switzerland’s legacy of peace. The cocktail bar and lounge has a rich palette of textures, colours and timelessly classic vintage furniture. The curved bar, supported by a mixologist’s dream liquor display, sits in one corner of the room, framed by high bar stools.
Low-level tables and plush seating are scattered throughout the rest of the space. The heritage features are complemented with an opulent Venetian-style distressed fresco and plaster effect on the walls, which are also adorned with an eclectic cluster of curated and bespoke Geneva-themed artwork, posters and photographs with historical significance. The bijou lounge is an intimately private and exclusive space with a rich velvet banquette and subtle lighting.
The lead designer on Ritz-Carlton Geneva’s Fiskebar project is Roisin Reilly, who graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a first-class Honours degree in Design and Interior Design. She joined B3 Designers in 2014.
B3 Designers was founded in 2002 by Mark Bithrey. He has worked in developing branded architectural interiors in leisure-dominated agencies for more than fifteen years. B3 Designers has, under Mark’s creative direction, developed an impressive, diverse and award-winning portfolio. Prior to founding B3 Mark worked for Din Associates, Revolution and Portland Design where he gained a great deal of experience in the retail sector, having completed projects for Selfridges, Virgin, Guinness and Ferrari. In addition to his work at B3 Mark held the post for Marketing Director at the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), is an affiliate member of RIBA and a member of the Chartered Society of Designers.
Creative collaboration and a down to earth, ‘hands on’ approach are key to B3′s services. The team consists of a group of diverse individuals who reflect this range of skills; each of B3’s associates have backgrounds in interior, graphic and product design as well as architecture, brand writing and strategy.