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    At a glance


    Summertown, Oxford


    Hospitality & Retail




    170 sq m

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    The Brief

    Already an existing wine bar, the new owners of ThirtyEight wanted to give the building a new lease of life. They wanted the establishment to be a part of the local community (very much a residential area) by exhibiting local up-and-coming artists and installing a kitchen to sell simple but quality hot food.

    Project Notes

    Based in the residential area of Summertown in North Oxford, ThirtyEight is very much part of the local community. People pop in there for coffee in the morning and go for a quick drink after work as well as meeting friends and family for a catch up in the evenings and weekends. When the new owners took over, they wanted us to re-think the whole layout to reflect their new ideas. The whole floor plan was changed so that the new bar became the focus at the entrance and then a kitchen could be installed in the centre.

    The colour palette was soft and light to reflect all of the natural light, particularly in the rear conservatory area which was to be used as a small art gallery for local artists. In contrast, we made the toilet area dark and textured with polished concrete vanity units and mock concrete floor tiles. Dark polished plaster was used in the bathroom lobby and WCs and light polished plaster in the corridor alongside, creating a real visual accent and a continuity to what otherwise would be a bland corridor. All the built-in furniture and shelving was designed to give the space character, along with the polished concrete bar top, tiled bar walls and fitted banquette seating.

    The existing old parquet floor was polished and sealed and reclaimed boards were sourced and fitted to sit alongside the existing. We designed a simple “38” neon sign for the shelves near the two fully glazed exterior walls to catch the eye of people passing by.

    “The premises at 38 had long been a part of the Summertown “scene”, but were tired and needed to be moved upmarket. Camilla handled this adroitly, and we even managed to fit in a whole new kitchen without losing any customer seating. We are delighted with the result and will certainly be using Element Studios again.”
    — Client