Matryoshka Garden Bar, UK


A sensory experience created by hanging gardens and lighting installations is combined with innovative design for portability in Binom Architects’ project, the Pop-Up Garden Bar, at the 2014 Hay Festival.

The Garden Bar was designed from the outset to be easily demountable and highly portable. Built around an innovative construction system that uses no glue and no screws, the main components of the bar can be reduced down to a number of easily–transportable boxes that nest together like matryoshka dolls to take up the minimum amount of space. Comprising of a series of 370mm x 370mm red and translucent plastic display panels, together with panels of metal mesh, the bar, storage, seating and display areas are assembled using special plastic clip connectors and cable ties. The simple, modular kit allows the structure to be easily demountable and transportable, giving it a future life in other locations around the United Kingdom.

Binom Architects have used this modular system to build an intriguing set piece, bringing aromatic Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Sage and Lemongrass into the dining space, together with an angular cloud of fluorescent tubes that is threaded through the tops of the structure.

Light boxes arranged around the perimeter of the space contain herbs and cooking utensils, creating a natural demarcation of the dining and cooking spaces. Customer seating extends out onto a wooden decked area and the entire shape and scale of the installation can be altered to practically any form. Demounted, the entire bar can be contained within 10 cubic metres, while the Garden Bar at Hay was an 400 cubic metre installation.

The Pop_Up Garden Bar was commissioned by the Spanish Tourist Office and the London restaurant Ibérica in order to create an environment in which to experience a range of delicious tapas dishes and Spanish wines surrounded by aromatic hanging herb gardens. Following the world–famous literary event, the Bar will travel on to various venues around the UK, including Manchester and Edinburgh in September 2014

Location: London, Manchester, Edinburgh
Client: Spanish Tourist Office and Ibérica Restaurant
Photographs: Sara Moiola & Binom Architects