Great Portland Street, London
With the flagship Mash 01 already in existence, the brief for Mash 02 responded to a more refined view of the concept with the design to become more iconic, more essential, and hence, easily transposable to future mash sites.
The mash brief always requires a strong and definable architecture to emphasise the fresh operational concept of the restaurant. Mash 02, however, was required to work within the boundaries of an existing building, a constraint which helped to form the idea of inserting a new architecture, with its own façade, behind the existing historical facade; juxtaposing surfaces, colours and materials.
The new insertion was to have both a plastic architecture and a formality, feeding the program and function. The space was conceived by extruding a form (a rounded polygon) creating a positive space, the restaurant and bar. Contained within the resulting negative space (anti-space) are the auxiliary functions such as kitchens, circulation space, and bars, which are glimpsed through openings in the skin of the positive space. The third dimension remains strangely underdeveloped and elusive, the extrusion process being an endless repetition of a 2 dimensional shape rather than the development of a 3 dimensional form. The synthetic atmosphere of this 2 dimensional space is informed by a computer aesthetic; forms are extruded, rotated and texture mapped with the appropriate materials. The resulting space, with its abstraction of scale, is virtual, alien. Within this alien space, walls and furniture become not objects, but ‘thick’ space.
Mash 03 followed near after.