To give the Las Iguanas experience the vibrant setting it deserves, the site on West Nile Street in Glasgow, the renowned Martin Brudnizki Design Studio transformed a former clothes shop into a warm, bustling destination restaurant evoking the energy of South America.
The designer Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has cleverly created an exciting, open-plan space which conveys the spirit of South America, the centrepiece of which is the opened-up kitchen which provides theatre, allowing diners to watch the magic happen.
The palette, meanwhile, is suitably rich and inviting, delivering that distinctive Latin American ambiance. Las Iguanas is the well-deserved holder of the coveted CGA Peach Icon award for Coolest Big Brand 2013, an acknowledgment of its 23 years of fulfilling a desire to bring the colour, chaos and charm of Latin America to the UK restaurant scene.
Designer Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) says: “We were particularly interested in the simple yet expressive nature of mid-century Brazilian architecture and fusing these post-modern design principles with the heritage of South America and created a contemporary yet authentic space bringing the vibrancy of São Paulo to Glasgow.
“To create a space that would convey the energy of South America, we kept everything open plan, including opening up the kitchen to provide theatre to the restaurant and emphasise the fresh nature of the food being served. At the same time, we used a palette of rich and inviting colours, as we wanted to ensure customers felt the warmth so associated with Latin America.”
The lounge bar for both drinking and dining is a particularly stand-out feature of the restaurant with bespoke mid-century style furniture, geometric floor tiling, and an opening shopfront for the summer months
Lucy Harwood, head of brand at Las Iguanas, says that designer and client worked very well together to achieve the project’s aims. “We enjoy a collaborative relationship with our design teams and are involved throughout the whole process, adding input from our travels in South America to MBDS’s superb designs.
“The main challenges faced during the project was to create the sense of place and connect the different spaces. We always look to tailor the design to the location and ensured that the Glasgow branch had a definite city edge to it. The challenges came from combining two former retail units into a workable and comfortable space for guests within Scottish planning and licensing constraints.
“Regarding the end result, we are delighted with the overall design and we can’t wait to open up the shopfront in the summer along with our outside seating to provide a fantastic people-watching spot to sit and relax from the hustle and bustle of the Commonwealth Games.”