Kova South Kensington

Atelier Baulier drew inspiration from Japanese gardens to design a calming and soothing space for Kova South Kensington, a beloved patisserie located in London, England.

  • area / size 409 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Kova South Kensington is the second shop designed by Atelier Baulier for the London-based Japanese Patisserie brand.

    Located on a main street in South Kensington, the shop is a welcome haven of calm in the bustling museums neighbourhood. Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese gardens the space has meticulously been curated to enhance the customer’s experience.

    A long bespoke counter takes centre stage displaying an array of colourful cakes contrasting with the subtle texture of its flint terrazzo cladding. It is set against a backdrop of clay render, which cloudy texture brings depth to the space.

    The rich pink colour running through the scheme has been selected to complement the vibrant green of the matcha millecrêpe, Kova’s signature cake.

    Echoing the pink render behind the counter and stretching along the opposite wall, a 6 meters long banquette boasts a strawberry pink kid mohair velvet cushioning, inviting the customer to sit down and savour. Its backrest made of 3 continuous bolsters hints at the regular patterns of the typical raked gravel of Japanese gardens. Along the same vein, a curtain concealing the back of house adds its soft vertical lines to the shop backdrop.

    Above the banquette, the wall is lined with recycled PET acoustic panels. The seemingly random yet regular perforation pattern is reminiscent of rain droplets hitting the surface of a pond. As well as providing a poetic backdrop, the panelling contributes to the good acoustics of the shop. The circular shape is present throughout the space, from the 3 circular light fixtures above the counter to the chairs, the table pendant lights and the prints by Tom Pigeon.

    The simple layout and the careful distribution of fixtures contribute to the calm, luxurious yet relaxed aesthetics of the patisserie. Polished copper details dotted around the shop catch the light bringing the space to life.

    Sustainability is at the core of the design. Durable, recycled and natural materials have been selected. The floor and the walls feature a natural clay based render. The counter is clad with a flint terrazzo, a by-product of the flint industry further ground and bound with a solvent-free resin by Resilica in Hastings. Natural wool used for the banquette and the curtain, a renewable and durable material. The PET felt acoustic panels by ReFelt are made of recycled bottles and are recyclable. Materials have been carefully selected on their sustainability credentials without compromising the aesthetics of the project.

    Design: Atelier Baulier
    Photography: French & Tye