TS&JT Architecture & Design

Metamorphoses Bars

Cocktail bars Queen’s House, Greenwich

With Iain Hales.

Metamorphoses: Classical Currents in Contemporary Culture was a day-long symposium hosted by the Architecture Foundation and the Old Royal Naval College at the Queen’s House in Greenwich in November 2018. As exhibition co-curators we were invited to design a temporary bar for the Orangery overlooking Greenwich Park.

We translated Hawksmoor’s window aprons on nearby St Alphege’s church into structures whose monumentality turned the Queen’s House Orangery into a place for sustenance and merriment. Including decorative champagne coolers made by artist Iain Hales, the bars possessed a mass which was at odds with their transience and brought Inigo Jones, Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor into conversation.

Constructed from aerated concrete blocks, fibrous plaster and aluminium, the bars represented our interest in the classical language in microcosm. Local symmetries within the global, they were neither deferent to their place nor bullying. Their material and tectonic qualities were expressive and practical, but not slavish or insistent, and their mass tended to the weighty and substantial.

Iain Hales’ champagne coolers were a playful and colourful reinterpretation of a classical pedestaled bowl. Adopting forms akin to an inverted ziggurat the alternating layers of black and pale pink echoed the chequerboard marble floor of the Queen’s House Orangery.

  • Photography © Sarah J Duncan.

  • Photography © Sarah J Duncan.

  • Photography © Sarah J Duncan.

  • Photography © Sarah J Duncan.

  • Photography © Sarah J Duncan.