Harrods Fresh Market Hall overhauled by David Collins Studio
Harrods’ ‘Taste Revolution’ is in full swing this November, as the London department store opens its newly refurbished Fresh Market Hall. The revitalised space marks the second phase of Harrods’ two-year Food Halls overhaul, offering a contemporary design take on a sprawling food market, featuring a new range of internationally- and locally-sourced premium culinary offerings.
London-based practice David Collins Studio is responsible for the re-design, following their completion of the dry goods section, the Roastery and Bake Hall at the close of 2017. As the late-19th century department store is Grade II* listed, the firm interwove a large number of the original interior details into the new design. Veined marble can still be found across surfaces and wall partitions, and internal support columns and doorways feature the authentic tiling from the building’s 1900s heyday.
The design studio plays with lighting, materiality and the building’s art deco heritage. White and black finishes have been applied across spaces, providing a monochrome backdrop to the colourful foodstuffs. This is best experienced at Karma, the Hall’s Indian counter, which offers a rich palette of Indian classics.
Another highlight of the hall is the verdant, wall-length vegetable and fruit selection, set against a backdrop of Cristina Celestino’s green, gold and white Plumage tiles by Botteganove bearing a feathered motif. A first for Harrods, the inclusion of an accompanying Vegetable Butchery – something that might please the growing vegan demographic – allows customers to experience the produce in new ways. Its selection, as with the rest of the hall’s sub-divisions, will change with the seasons.
In age when food provenance is all, this refurbishment is all about showcasing the world-class produce; from a rack of 20 giant legs of Cincos Jotas jambons suspended from hooks to huge wheels of cheese framed in display cases.
Convenience also plays a big part, with Harrods introducing a new range of grab-and-go offerings for the time-pressed customer. Dishes such as cottage pie, truffle mac-and-cheese and fresh pasta selections, now join its staple salads and sandwiches. ‘Opening the Fresh Market Hall will allow us to bring my 150 in-house chefs to the forefront,’ states executive chef Andy Cook, ‘servicing our food customers directly and introducing the chef’s brand new creations to the Harrods Deli counter.’
The Fresh Market Hall closes a busy year of refurbishments for Harrods, which has seen its wine rooms overhauled by Martin Brudzinki Design Studio; its Toy Department colour-coded and de-gendered by Farshid Moussavi; and, most recently, its fine watch room, which was given a marble makeover by Rundell Associates. §