Riverside Edge – Kingston Upon Thames


The build phase is nearing completion at Kingston Riverside Edge; with all major structural works finished, our focus has turned to the design details.

Unity of the space has always been important – with the concept of 5 kitchens operating out of one unit, continuity through the building has been factored in. Five spaces have been created; to be taken over by separate restaurateurs, each with the flexibility of dressing and branding to their desired spec.

When PopStore began the design phase, we wanted more than just to create a shell, it was to become a carefully considered, designed space. This was not straightforward – the end unit of a converted multi-storey car park meant that the concrete structure has curves and ramps within its boundaries, alongside large structural columns. To us, this made it interesting, rather than limiting, it became a challenge to be able to use the space most effectively, and make features of the interesting structural elements that the unit provided.

Riverside Edge is the brand running the show – whose identity was important to find at the start of the process. Industrial, yet clean, light and spacious.

Concrete is a common theme that runs throughout the space, ceilings, floors and some walls, but with different finishes to each, the effect is not overwhelming. This is softened by wood – Scaffolding boards to be exact. Partitions, facades and doors have been faced with the boarding, giving texture and character to the walls, creating a warmth within the space, a rustic, industrial personality.

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IMG_3232 We sourced vintage sash windows and oak grilled doors for partitions, giving each restaurateur definite boundaries, and yet still encompassing each into the development.

No two of the five units are the same – each has its own quirks, shape and covers – but each has the adaptability to be branded and merchandised by the restaurateur. Removable bar fronts, wall space and flexible kitchen units are givens in each (except unit 3 – a flexible corner space, ideal for small vendors). Unit four has a special addition – a traditional Italian pizza oven, the perfect cooking companion for riverside dining.

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Access into the unit comes from three points – large folding doors open up on the first floor at the top of Riverside walk, facing the bridge and John Lewis, leading down a galvanized staircase into the centre of the unit. There is also access direct from the swooping corner of riverside walk at the point of the river under the bridge, as well as the primary access to unit four through large folding doors on the riverside front.

Hand painted signs, signature lighting, fluoros and features input the design character into the heart of the project, off-setting the industrial steel kitchens.

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Completion of the project is expected within the next week, and by mid-october, the opening of five new restaurants on the riverside in Kingston for you to sample.

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