Fortnum & Mason

Transporting a British icon to new audiences

Crafting a contemporary setting for Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange.

"Planted in the center of the Royal Exchange’s soaring internal courtyard, Fortnum’s Bar & Restaurant is visually arresting, beginning with the canopy above the curved bar, a version of which was first introduced at the Heathrow establishment as a nod to the tea tents of the Raj era. A showcase of silver filigree latticework finished in polished nickel, it is inspired by Fortnum & Mason’s extensive silverware collection, details found in the Piccadilly grande dame, and photographs culled from the archives." — Alia Akkam, reporting for Architectural Digest

Taking cues from Fortnum & Mason's iconic silverware collection, our canopy was made by Random Products in Brighton. A laborious process, individual nickel plated strands were hand formed over a jig by four people and sequentially installed on site. Deceptively simple, it coordinated many different aspects of design complexity. The structure contained wiring for all the bar lighting and was polished in two different finishes to reflect and refract the light in different ways, resulting in a 'sparkle' that was naturally achieved through reflection.

Fortnum & Mason, The Royal Exchange

Custom light fixtures on the marble bar counter were created using handblown glass by local Michael Ruh Studio and metalwork from Manchester-based Nocturne Workshop. Designed by the Universal team, the initial drawings were further developed by the makers who tested the glass, colour and texture alongside the level of light glare and angle of the pendant. These small beacons provide a warm orange glow, creating moments of intimacy within the vast Royal Exchange interior.