Pizza Express Bath

Tasked with giving Bath’s new PizzaExpress restaurant a modern interior that pays homage to the company’s heritage while retaining its appeal to a youthful customer base, Absolute has taken inspiration from 1960s style and fashion, incorporating images from a Vogue shoot in Bath by photographer Peter Rand into the final design of the new venue.

PizzaExpress was actually founded in 1965; an element Absolute was briefed to bring out in the décor and styling of the restaurant which is located in Bath’s Southgate Shopping Centre – a favourite with the city’s younger generation of fashion-conscious consumers. At the core of the design concept, a number of sunken 60’s-style wall and ceiling circles and red line details give the space a three dimensional feel, while bespoke ‘Bath street map’ wall cladding, high back banquette seating, large round mooi lampshades and a dramatic light installation combine to create a welcoming, contemporary atmosphere.

In addition, the Southgate PizzaExpress is one of the first restaurants to include a new coffee offering; something Absolute has taken great care to accommodate in the two-floor venue’s layout and composition. Using varied ceiling heights and strategically positioned lighting, the design team created a series of zones in order to take full advantage of the unit space and ensure a comfortable dining experience for all types of customer.

For the final magic touch, framed prints of the original Vogue shoot were given pride of place on several of the walls in addition to the glass screen at the front of the restaurant. Peter Rand himself was then invited to host a private event in the new space, celebrating his work and the restaurant’s connection with cutting edge fashion and trends.

“Bath is one of the UK’s fashion capitals so we wanted to draw heavily on that aspect,” says Absolute’s Helen Stephens. “The Vogue shoot from the 1960s therefore perfectly complimented the overall focus which was to give this PizzaExpress a real sense of heritage without making it seem old-fashioned or out of place. With the right concept for the interior we were then able to explore ways of ensuring that the coffee offering was also maximised. This was no easy task due to existing perceptions of PizzaExpress so we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved.”