Pizza Express flagship

Typology: 
Non-Residential
Status: 
Completed
2011

bere:architects were commissioned by Cantos Architects to design the facades of the Barbican Pizza Express restaurant at the Barbican in the City of London. The design divided the restaurant into two self-contained units facing each other on each side of a public walkway. Bere:architects developed a new stacked-glass structural column design to support the glass walls that enclose the restaurant dining areas.

The walls of the restaurant, which sits directly over London Wall, are supported by an innovative cast-glass system of construction based on the idea of “vertebrae”. Pre-formed electricity pylon isolators were threaded on to high-tensile stainless steel rods to form a strong, slender structural column that the glass wall was then hung off. Frameless revolving glass entrance doors were designed and set into the façades. Uplighters set in the floor, turn the stacked-glass columns into sparkling masts of light to create a series of dramatic magical reflections between the two facing dining areas. To allow for movement in the building, the masts are supported by cantilevered swinging arms above the ceiling. Specially produced 'top-hat' nylon washers keep metal and glass separate. 

bere:architects employed the same principle for the earlier Clapham glass domestic project. Each Pizza Express mast underwent structural testing by the manufacturer and the structural engineer before being installed at  the Barbican.