Sexy Fish, UK

It’s all in the name. Martin Brudnizki Design Studio aptly filled the interior of London’s new Asian seafood restaurant Sexy Fish with sea-themed floors, walls, ceilings and lights; a true underwater submersion.

If any restaurant were to draw in hungry passers-by, it would be none other than Sexy Fish in London, UK. Designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS), Sexy Fish submerges guests in a restaurant interior like nothing London has ever seen before. Focusing on designing spaces that are comfortable yet beautiful, MBDS creates a sense of story-telling and intrigue in its designs.

The hotly anticipated Asian fish and seafood restaurant from Caprice Holdings restaurant group opened in October. “We have had a long established business relationship with Caprice Holdings and Richard Caring (owner),” commented Brudnizki. “I’m constantly in conversation with Richard, so when he told me about the new project, we were the natural partner.”

Working with what used to be a NatWest bank, the design brief for Sexy Fish was fairly broad – to create something very different from the building’s original identity. Brudnizki commented on the restaurant interior’s encapsulation of the quirky name: “The core of Sexy Fish’s interior is influenced by the style and sophistication of a mid-century brasserie. We created a space that was contemporary and relevant to the restaurant’s name by incorporating patterns and motifs of the ocean.”

Sexy Fish is brought to life with installations from international names in the world of architecture, art and fashion. Entering the restaurant from Berkeley Square, guests find their feet on the Esmeralda onyx floor beneath the striking coral reef mural ceiling designed by fashion journalist Michael Roberts. The ceiling, created from a cut out design carefully printed onto a fabric panel, was lit by bespoke spun dish uplighters, specially designed to project light upwards and outwards, to avoid detracting attention away from the artwork.

The statement bar provides a visual and original focal point, as the largest collection of American architect Frank Gehry’s iconic Fish lamps hang above, shimmering and glowing against the water feature behind as if undulating at sea. “Frank Gehry’s fish lamps are an integral part of Sexy Fish’s design,” said Brudnizki. “Positioned above the bar, they emanate a soft glowing quality whilst simultaneously drawing upon the aquatic theme. Shaped like fish and complete with scales, their ethereal quality creates a magical focal point to the bar area.”

Positioned at either end of the lava stone bar stop, artist Damien Hirst created a pair of cast bronze mermaids rendered in a blue patina. Further adorning the bar are seven of MBDS’s own product design studio And Object’s Cheriton desk lights.

MBDS sees lighting as one of the most important aspects to restaurant interior design, in the way that it creates atmosphere, sets the tone and helps diners feel at ease. “We always spend a lot of time trying to create the perfect ambience and at Sexy Fish, it was no different,” said Brudnizki. “We used uplighters in the ceiling to bring Michael Roberts’ mural to life and highlight the aquatic beauty of the design while creating a softer, more natural lighting effect. The bar is illuminated too with the use of desk lamps, with the overall effect as soft and seductive.”

Across the restaurant behind a section of raised banquettes, diners find another Frank Gehry sculpture; a glossy black crocodile in shattered formica tiles crawling across the wall. Joining this reptilian artwork in the raised area is the kitchen-dining counter with space for six, and a 3.5-metre long illuminated crustacean display.

Though Sexy Fish is busy and bold, the overall effect aims to be light and breezy, thanks largely to MBDS’ clever use of lighting. “Sexy Fish certainly creates a statement when you walk in, but once the original shock and awe of the artwork is over, you can appreciate the smaller interior details which put you at ease,” assured Brudnizki. Dining at Sexy Fish is an experience for those who like adventure and dare to delve into the depths of the sea. It is not one to be missed, and promises to tide you over from hunger to immense satisfaction.

www.mbds.com