This isn't your average student bar, and these aren't your average students. For a new collaboration with Ketel One Vodka for the late Lee Alexander McQueen's Sarabande educational foundation, Tord Boontje has created a futuristic copper installation on which to serve drinks.
The commission toasts the completion of Sarabande Studios in Haggerston, east London, where brilliant young designers are given the space and the funding to excel. The ten hand-selected students currently on the scholarship programme, studying art- and fashion-related courses at London's best schools, share their Kingsland Wharf studio block with the likes of Craig Green, and are free to pursue projects in whatever way they see fit.
It's this passion for creativity and innovation that inspired Ketel One Vodka to become the Foundation's leading partner. Bob Nolet, master distiller, explains, 'For 11 generations and 325 years, my family has had a self-belief in the power of creativity and the ability to make ideas and dreams a reality – a commitment the Sarabande Foundation shares – making our partnership with them a natural and incredibly exciting one.'
The bar will be a permanent fixture at the facility, providing an elegant backdrop for events and showcases. But it's not what we're used to from the organically-inspired Dutch designer. The curvaceous wooden frame is clad in a skin of highly polished copper scales, and looks like it could be rising from the ocean. The accompanying floating, floral chandelier is more Boontje-esque; spiralling, delicate leafy motifs cast dramatic shadows across the wall.
The bar intends to be both a functional object of beauty, and an inspiration for the students, showcasing world-renowned craftsmanship up close. As Nolet concludes: 'Through this partnership, we hope to inspire with a sense of creative possibility and welcome the burgeoning talent of tomorrow into the Ketel One family.'