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Duddell’s Cantonese Restaurant by Michaelis Boyd

Michaelis Boyd

London-based architecture and design practice Michaelis Boyd has designed Duddell’s, a fine-dining Cantonese restaurant, within the Grade II-listed St Thomas Church in London,England. Take a look at the complete story after the jump.

From the architects: The original two-Michelin star award-winning Duddell’s was founded in Hong Kong in 2013 by creative entrepreneurs Alan Lo, Paulo Pong and Yen Wong. The space was conceived as a cultural and social destination for people with an appreciation for the arts, providing an inspiring backdrop in which to meet, eat, drink and socialise. As at Duddell’s Hong Kong, the London brand will display a regular rotation of contemporary artwork, making it part restaurant and part gallery.

Alex Michaelis, Co-Founder of Michaelis Boyd comments: ‘Duddell’s Hong Kong is somewhat of an institution and we were delighted to work on this exciting new venture in London. When designing the space, we wanted to celebrate the building’s rich history and highlight the difference between old and new. We maximised the natural light that comes into the building to accentuate key heritage features and now the former church has a new lease of life.’

Duddell’s London is located within the historic Grade II-listed St Thomas Church, one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in London. Michaelis Boyd has overseen the restoration of the building to create an authentic Cantonese restaurant, which is headed up by Chef Daren Liew, previously Executive Sous Chef with the Hakkasan Group.

The restaurant is set on two floors; the ground floor design is focused towards the original dark timber church altar, while the mezzanine level allows views through a clear glass balustrade across the vast eight-metre high space and open kitchen.

The design for Duddell’s London was inspired by the traditional 1960’s Hong Kong tea restaurant, making use of colour and pattern to create a retro space with a contemporary twist.

A monolithic structure, clad in green tiles provides the centrepiece of the restaurant and spans the ground floor. This dramatic central island acts as the open dim sum kitchen and cocktail bar. The island is free-standing, detached from the walls and existing wooden panelling of the building. The work top is made from pink terrazzo with white chips providing a subtle contrast to the green tiling. The bar has decorative brass shelving for glasses and bottles with discrete, built-in illumination that provides a focus for the diners sitting at high level timber bar stools. Additional illumination is provided by impressive bespoke light fittings made from perforated overlapping satin brass sheets.


The boldly coloured, geometric floor made from rubber, contrasts against the existing dark oak cladding which lines the perimeter of the restaurant. In order to protect the original timber flooring of the space, Michaelis Boyd raised the floor level and in areas where this was not possible, left the existing timber flooring exposed and protected. A free-standing deep blue leather banquette sits in front of the four-metre high windows offering an abundance of natural light to lunch time guests with an additional L-shaped sofa in blue leather complimented by poufs in mohair velvet. Michaelis Boyd carefully matched the new wooden elements of paneling around the banquette seating to the existing dark wooden finish of the building. A mixture of black rattan and timber chairs are positioned in the restaurant with an array of tables with colourful laminate tabletops.

The mezzanine level wraps around two sides of the restaurant offering views across the space and onto the open kitchen and bar below. Responding to the traditional architecture while respecting the fabric of the listed building, Michaelis Boyd has introduced modern chandeliers connected to the original ceiling by a series of lightweight fixings that have minimal impact on the original structure.

Images courtesy of Michaelis Boyd. Photography by Ed Reeve

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