The Restaurant and Bar Design awards take place every year in London. Last year our beloved Pot Bellied Pig design won best café at the awards.
This year the Vaults Parlour is nominated in the Heritage category and In Another Space category. The Vaults Live is an innovative and theatrical large-scale tourist attraction located in the heart of Dublin City, offering a unique and exhilarating tour and experience by taking the visitor on a journey throughout the most scandalous and exciting tales of Irish history in a stunningly renovated original four-storey Victorian building. The experience includes stunning 360° sets, state of the art lighting, lavish costumes and special effects.
KLD were appointed to take a creative and inventive approach when designing both the café and retail spaces, continuing the overall immersive theatrical experience whilst delivering a fully considered and highly operational F&B and retail aspect to the business.
Located in the Victorian vaults themselves, our designated area for cafe and retail was a combination of the original building and a much newer contemporary extension design. Here is a look at the two arches which once featured at the front of the building but are now indoors and a focal point of the room, framing the view in both directions.
This is how the arches look now, resplendent and framing the retail area beautifully. The chequered floor, a nod to Alice in Wonderland, exudes the dreamy imagination filled curiosity of the design, rich with exquisite detail. Many of the items you see in the below photo came from the Vintage Hub.
Every aspect of this fit out was bespoke, custom designed and made to suit. The budget was tight so collaboration and collaborative creative thinking from both the design and build team was imperative to achieve the high-end result.
The Vaults Cabinetry
The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards take place in October.
Photography (excluding before pics) by Barbara Corsico.
Winner: Fit Out Awards 2018 for The Vaults Parlour
20th November 2018
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The Vaults Parlour wins Fit Out Project of the Year – Retail.
Vaults Parlour Photos: Barbara Corsico
The Vaults Live is an innovative and theatrical large-scale tourist attraction located in the heart of Dublin City, offering a unique and exhilarating tour and experience by taking the visitor on a journey throughout the most scandalous and exciting tales of Irish history in a stunningly renovated original 4 storey Victorian building. The experience includes stunning 360° sets, state of the art lighting, lavish costumes and special effects. We were contacted by the client midway through the overall development of the Vaults Live to design a café parlour and retail space that visitors are brought into at the end of the one-hour experience.
We were appointed to take a creative and inventive approach when designing both the café and retail spaces, continuing the overall immersive theatrical experience whilst delivering a fully considered and highly operational F&B and retail aspect to the business.
The last set from the tour is with Molly Malone. We wanted to carry on a narrative from that experience and era, opting to create a lavish and indulgent parlour. With influence from the classic parlour room, we studied and researched Irish examples, wallpapers, furniture, fixtures and fittings, textiles and artwork from the Victorian era before seeking to merge the traditional with contrasting sleek, contemporary elements.
Taking on board the Vaults new mascot, the Irish Hare, we sought to create a fun and playful space. We designed the suspended ceiling to house rabbit holes appearing to have grasses growing from them. We altered the roof light to create a tunnel effect to the sky and another to have inset mirror reflecting the Alice in Wonderland inspired chequered floor. The aim was to encourage interaction and imagination in the visitor.
We sought to fully immerse visitors of all ages in a magical, whimsical environment, encouraging further interaction and engagement and essentially encouraging them to spend more time within the building
We believe we have executed one of our most beautiful creations to date. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland we embraced whimsy, playfulness and timelessness by juxtaposing old and new. The white cabinetry feels luxurious while the redbrick walls of the arches frames the space beautifully. The Alice in Wonderland inspired black and white chequered wooden floor of the café area contrasts beautifully with the poured concrete flooring of the retail display area. The banquette seating provides luxurious comfort while the wall paper adds a homely and rustic feel. It is a feast for the senses and embraces the themes and immersive nature of the Vaults Live experience.
The Vintage Hub
Here is a short video of Róisin and Becky at the Vintage Hub to gather the beautiful items to style the Vaults to perfection. See if you can spot some of the items from above.
And the winner is The Vaults:
And so to the awards on 1 November. We are super excited and thrilled to have won this auspicious award. We have tremendous fondness and respect for the Fit Out Awards, it is the best recognition and celebration there is in Ireland for all the work that goes on throughout the year. The black tie adds that extra bit of class, as did the beautiful meal with all the trimmings. We really did have a wonderful night meeting old and making new friends.
And so it came to our award. To say we were thrilled when we heard The Vaults call out would be an understatement. It never gets old. Our thanks goes to Colin Quinn and all at NSBS, our fit out partners on this project, in particular Gareth Johnson who project managed the fit out. Also immense thanks to The Vintage Hub whose treasures adorn the space, which helped create the whimsical, magical space we set out to achieve.
It has been an incredible year for Kingston Lafferty Design and this Fit Out Award for The Vaults Parlour truly tops it off. We are honoured and humbled with this recognition. But we are not going to rest on our laurels. We are already looking forward to a busy, exciting and rewarding 2019.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees and to the Fit Out Awards for putting on a great ceremony. See you in 2019.
When I heard my name called out as joint winner of the emerging talent at the KPMG Irish Independent Property Industry Excellence Awards 2017, it felt really, really good. There was a certain validation, a validation of our creative approach and execution and the value and importance of our contribution in a highly competitive and thriving industry. In a year where one of KLD’s goals was genuine collaboration, sharing the award for emerging talent with Joe McGinley, founder and CEO of Iconic offices, after recently collaborating on a series of projects together, was further cause for celebration. It was also wonderful to see other brands and businesses that we continue to collaborate with including Cairn Homes Plc as winners on the night. Creative collaboration is a hallmark of how KLD work.
What is it like to be a woman in what is a male dominated industry?
There is no doubt 2017 and 2018 were extraordinary years for women. The #MeToo movement was a global phenomenon, a wake-up call that demanded both women and men to look at themselves and question their whole belief systems and what was acceptable and not. There has never been a better time to be a woman in this industry, women now have more agency than ever before – witness the stunning work done by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley Mc Namara of Grafton Architects who are trailblazers and very inspirational to women like me. Of course there is a way to go, but we are moving in the right direction.
Property and construction is a male dominated industry and sometimes interior design and interior architecture can be seen by some as fluffy and secondary. However, it is the interior of a building that everyone experiences most. Irrespective of how our home or workplace looks like on the outside, how it is inside that is what is most impactful. The spaces you surround yourself with impact on you hugely, and what is important for KLD is to make these spaces beautiful, unique and exciting and this has been at the core of our success.
Interior architecture and design is a carefully researched and crafted discipline placing human behaviour at its core to provide improved ergonomic environments. It is important for us to create exciting spaces for all our clients. What we look at in KLD is how these spaces are inhabited and experienced, be it work spaces, hospitality, retail or residential. For example, in the workplace we look at the human form and its actions in the space and endeavour to design a holistic embodied sensory experience, creating connection between the human body and the architectural body. All aspects, from the initial layout to the integrated lighting, furniture and buildup of materials and finishes are considered. The KLD approach ensures the best result for our clients; adding value to people’s lives and to businesses and brands.
Times are extremely exciting for KLD with a cluster of thrilling creatively led projects ongoing across hospitality, student living, office and retail sectors to name a few. We are privileged to be working with some very creatively minded clients and getting to experiment and push concepts and design boundaries. One such project has just completed. The Vaults, a new tourist attraction based in central Dublin in a stunning Victorian schoolhouse, is the first of its kind in the city. Fusing Irish history, drama and experiential design, The Vaults takes visitors on an exciting and unexpected journey culminating in a stunning parlour, which we designed. The parlour is a combined café and retail space with whimsical and playful references, delicious food and drinks. Look out for it.
I love my job, I love the industry and the amazing creative and talented people it attracts. I feel very lucky I get recreate my dreams and imagination for a living. I have worked hard to get where I am, I have had to build my business acumen up from zero, exercising that muscle to come somewhat closer to my creative ones. I am so proud of KLD and what it has achieved. We currently employ people from all over the world, which adds further diversity and design perspectives.
I could not have done this without all the amazing designers, artists, collaborators and mentors I have worked with over the years. At KLD we are uncompromising about the relationships we build and the stories we tell. We come with a creative passion matched with and deep understanding of the industry we are in.
This blog post is based on an article originally featured in the Irish Independent on 26 July 2018. This article can be viewed here.
Róisín Lafferty is the Founder and Creative Director of Kingston Lafferty Design. She believes firmly in the power of creative collaboration and has received a string of prestigious accolades, including Young Designer of the Year at the 2015 Fit Out Awards, a number of IDI Awards for both residential and commercial projects and the Emerging Talent Award at the 2017 Excellence in Property Awards. She is a Brand Ambassador for INM’s House Event and for the past three years has worked closely as Brand Ambassador for DFS and Fleetwood Paint. KLD continues to grow and gain international recognition and their work has been featured in many Irish and International publications such as Living ETC, Italian Vogue, Architectural Digest and The Wall Street Journal.