Date: SUMMER 2016
Location: WAPPING, LONDON
Photography: KAPRANOS PR, DAVID DINIS
Service: FULL DESIGN SERVICE
Trade Union, a new destination in Wapping in London, has arrived heavy with great expectations. “We are pioneering a completely new retail/leisure experience,” said Adam Marshall, founder and CEO of bar group Grand Union when it was announced. Described as an “innovative, experiential blended concept”, it is more than just a bar, bringing together food and drink under the same roof as a barber shop, a coffee shop and a florist, making it a “new kind of lifestyle venue”.
It is located in Thomas More Square, an office development dotted with a handful of shops and bars, close to St Katharine Docks on the edge of the City. The interiors were created with hospitality specialist Kai Design, eschewing the eclectic, vintage-style interiors of the company’s popular Grand Union bars for a more stripped-back, industrial-style look. Concrete finishes, neon lights and machine-like metalwork contrast with floral motifs and comfortable upholstered seating in burnt orange, deep purple and gun-metal grey.
The design was inspired by the still-striking futuristic images in Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic expressionist movie Metropolis. “In the main bar, the brass pipes that run in the front counter give the impression that we stripped away part of the carcass to reveal what is inside – like the engine of a machine or the gears of a clock,” points out Kai Design interior designer Maria Oliva. “Part of those inner tubes also appear on the rear wall of the bar counter, featuring tube lights at the extremities that provide a shiny and sleek look. In fact, we wanted to reflect the metallic underground city of the film Metropolis where the machines, robots and technology play a major role in the daily life of the people.”
Review By: Bar Team, November 2016