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 by Marc Newson with green banquets and yellow chairs
The spiral staircase connecting the restaurant’s two floors. The lighting featured plaster-moulded pods embedded on walls and ceiling

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.

Angela Bulloch artwork featured in Marc Newson’s Coast Restaurant
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

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

Green Glassware by Venini and aluminium cooler designed by Marc Newson for Coast Restaurant in London
Green round glass ashtray by Marc Newson

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

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.’ §