Lucy Tauber
The new screen at the Eyre Brothers was installed to visually separate a new lounge area from the existing restaurant. The screen was also created as an element through which the Eyre Brother’s unique personality could be incorporated into the modernist aesthetic of the original interior.

The screen is made up of to 39 double-sided MDF panels fixed around 12 vertical bronze rails. The panels are clad with a patchwork of materials, fabrics and photographs on one side and finished with a deep red lacquer on the other. The panels rotate individually around the rails allowing the screen to be either open or closed.

When closed and viewed from the entrance and lounge, the screen appears as a collage of colour and images. The pin stripe wool and rich silks represent the diversity of the clientele; the American walnut, bronze and leather incorporate the materials used in the existing interior, while the black and white photographs of the Eyre brothers’ childhood years in Africa offer an opportunity for a narrative that describes the personalities and backgrounds of the diners’ hosts.

In contrast, the panels facing the restaurant are finished in a single colour, chosen to match the existing plum glass sections that separate each dining area. As the panels rotate individually fabric and lacquer compositions can be invented with each combination reflecting a different mood from day through to evening.

The screen was divided into 3 sections to tie in with the geometry of the existing glass partitions and banquet seating.  Each section was then divided again into varying width of panels. When open these differing widths become most meaningful; the smaller panels can open fully like vertical louvers to create clear views from the maitre-d’s table to the kitchen pass, the larger panels are best opened only marginally and act as “snob screens” through which you catch only a glimpse of the restaurant or lounge beyond.

The Eyre Brothers, Robert and David, were an inspiration for the design of the screen.  It was their diversity, their broad interests and their characterful personalities that inspired it. The screen is not fixed but instead is meant to evolve. The bronze and leather panels provide blank canvases for more elements to be added to the patchwork. This is work in progress that can change and grow, alter and evolve. It is a gift, a joyful celebration of difference and contradiction, of the past and the future.

The evolving and revolving screen was part of a refurbishment works at the restaurant that included the repositioning and alteration of fixed furniture, a reception and lounge area, and new lighting and decoration throughout.

Made in collaboration with Benchmark Woodenworkings