Ochre has opened within the National Gallery in London. Local studio Red Deer looked to works found throughout the art museum to inform the restaurant’s interiors, including the structure and palette of the space. Most notably, the eatery’s namesake—a pigment found within rocks and soil—steered the rich, textural design.
“It was always going to be a plush space because the building itself is so beautiful and its proportions are so iconic. It just lends itself to these grand indulgent fittings,” says Red Deer cofounder and lead architect and designer Lucas Che Tizarrd. “We imagined this restaurant space to be like an artist’s home—warm, homely, and relaxing and I think the design of Ochre definitely reflects this.”
Located on the ground floor of the National Gallery, Ochre immerses guests in an earthy palette of burnt orange, yellow, and browns. Velvet, boucle, and embroidered textiles infuse the double-height interior, which is illuminated by abundant natural light and oversized chandeliers, with a sumptuous quality.
Original architectural focal points, including wall panels and moldings, remain intact and are accentuated by more modern interventions. Reminiscent of a brushstroke, contemporary banquettes—upcycled from furniture found onsite—zigzag across the core of the restaurant to partition the bar and dining room, while wooden barstools echo a painter’s palette. “Not only was it fun to do this, but it made sense from an environmental and cost perspective,” Tizard adds.