Refurbish, Re-use, Recycle

When STAC architecture were approached to refurbish an existing Nando’s restaurant in Woking, we were determined to approach the refurbishment in a new way, one that would try to reinvent the typical way refurbishments are carried out and see if true re-use and up-cylcing was truly possible on such a fast pace fit-out that typically only lasts 4-5 weeks.

The usual approach, when time is limited, is to have a couple of skips outside to take away everything that is stripped out of the restaurant and have an equal number of new materials and products ready and waiting to be plugged back in.

Instead of this typical approach, the design intent and inspiration for the entire fit-out has been taken from the desire to up-cycle all the tired and dated materials that were being stripped out and reuse them in new features that are current and of their time.

The proposed design featured a new timber spine wall that was to be clad entirely from all the timber stripped out of the current space.  Old table tops, floor boards and timber cladding were stripped out, taken off site to be resized, refurbished and oiled ready for up cycling in a new feature wall & curved waiting, both of which are prime example of what can be achieved with ‘waste’ materials.

STAC partnered up and worked closely with MASS concrete to create a contemporary, servery counter and worktops that utilise all the waste materials from the old worktops that were stripped out.  The old polished granite worktops & vanity units were taken off site, put through a rock crusher to break them up and were re-used as the aggregate to make the new concrete worktops and servery front.  The worktops were then ground down to reveal the recycled aggregate within.  ‘It is nice to see the old worktop within the new and know that nothing has been wasted but is rather integral to the outcome of the new fit-out’ says co-founder and design director Paul Thrush.

The largest feature within the restaurant comes in the form of more than 6500 up cycled glass bottles, each of which have come out of the restaurant as well as many others.  They were all painstakingly cleaned, modified and individually suspended from the soffit to create a back lit feature ceiling that greets you at the entrance and undulates through the restaurant to create a space that invites debate, has a sense of fun about it as well as contributes to the concept of refurbish, reuse, recycle.