Marc Newson looks back on the design impact of 1990s restaurant Coast

Marc Newson pays tribute to his 1995 Coast restaurant design, looking at the space, furniture and objects he created for the groundbreaking, but short-lived, London venue

Interior of Coast Restaurant
(Image credit: Christoph Kicherer)

Marc Newson designed London’s Coast restaurant in 1995 and it took London by storm, emphasising contemporary design, art, and culinary innovation. Commissioned by Oliver Peyton, owner of the Atlantic Bar and Grill, to create the interiors for the new Mayfair restaurant, the designer worked in collaboration with Robert Grace Architecture

Marc Newson looks back to the design of Coast restaurant

Interior of Coast restaurant

The spiral staircase connecting the restaurant's two floors. The lighting featured plaster-moulded pods embedded on walls and ceiling

(Image credit: Christoph Kicherer)

Newson recently took to Instagram, where he paid tribute to the 1990s design through a series of archive photographs of the space, which closed in 2000. Seen are his clean, harmonious interior, with white walls and floors and curved lines.

Interior design of Coast restaurant

(Image credit: Christoph Kicherer)

Coast restaurant top floor

Top, the oak chairs were made in a small Italian factory, later picked up by Magis, which reproduced them in plastic. Above, artist Angela Bulloch's sound-activated Luna Cosine Machine installation (1995), which she created for the space. Photography: Marcus Leith. Courtesy of the artist

(Image credit: Marcus Leith.)

Coast offered one of the first opportunities for Newson to design an entire space, right down to the smaller objects. He created seating and tables, as well as smaller items such as ashtrays and pepper grinders. The space – a former Volvo showroom – was developed over two floors and was characterised by an imposing, silo-shaped spiral staircase (coated in the same epoxy resin used on the floor, explains Newson, ‘to create a seamless surface’) with stairs covered in green Tartan Track (a material more often found on athletics tracks). Custom green banquettes, laser-cut oak tiles and pod lighting completed the space, while artist Angela Bulloch created a sound-activated installation.

Marc Newson's products for his 1995 Coast restaurant project

Venini glassware and a wine cooler in polished aluminum

(Image credit: Christoph Kicherer)

Glass ashtray

Top, Venini glassware and a wine cooler in polished aluminium. Above, glass ashtray by Swedish company Blend. Both were designed by Newson for the restaurant

(Image credit: Blend)

Newson’s Instagram review includes the objects and furniture he designed for the space, several of which were later put into production by furniture and design companies. These include the glass ashtray, originally manufactured by Swedish company Blend and later picked up by Habitat, and the black and white ‘Gemini’ salt and pepper grinders for Alessi, while Venini produced the glassware. The oak chairs for the restaurant were made in a small Italian factory, and the design was later picked up by Magis and reproduced in plastic.

‘I wanted it to feel like a homogenous environment,’ commented Newson as he looked back to the restaurant's design. ‘A bit like being in a swimming pool.’


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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