In April 2022 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary with clients, collaborators, colleagues and friends with an unforgettable party. Since then, we have continued the celebrations by shining a spotlight on 10 projects that reflect the diversity of our portfolio over the last decade.


When we were asked to participate in The Alchemist’s expansion of their ever-popular theatrical cocktail bar and restaurants, we couldn’t wait to get started. We designed a new offer in the historic spa town of Cheltenham, within the Brewery Quarter development.

The deep and tall unit enabled us to add a touch of drama with a theatrically long, illuminated bar that stretches infinitely with the use of mirrors. This is the perfect background to compliment the amazing variety of The Alchemist’s imaginative cocktails. The unique alchemy-meets-horoscope art wall combined with taxidermy artefacts and prints by Dan Hillier were used to enhance the mystical atmosphere of the bar.

Following the success of this project, turnerbates was then asked to carry out the design and implementation of The Alchemist’s new Edinburgh branch.

"In Cheltenham we sought to create a uniques space adapted to reflect The Alchemist's progressive ethos. Throughout the design process, turnerbates have clearly understood our brand and created a destination to enhance the elegant spa town."

Paul MitchellProperty Director, The Alchemist


After becoming friends at school, Craig and Michael set up Bear Coffee in 2015. With a passion for good coffee, they embarked on a search for collaboration and investment to expand their small brand. Chris, looking to invest in an independent coffee brand, joined the team next. They all met Howard and John at a hospitality exhibition and the rest was history.

A year after meeting, the second Bear Coffee bar and restaurant opened in a dilapidated Grade II listed former bank building in Derby City centre. On a challenging budget, turnerbates transformed the banking hall and vaults into a vibrant bar and restaurant. A new traditionally detailed shopfront once again opened up the ground floor with internal finishes and artworks reflecting the growing and processing of coffee.

Since the Derby branch was completed, a further three café/restaurants have opened, with each design evolving with the location and building.


After completing the design and refurbishment of the entrance foyer and library for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Vincent Square HQ, we were asked to advise on another project with RHS. Due to its popularity, the Arrival Building’s café at RHS’ Hyde Hall had been outgrown.

In our strategic review we successfully identified the issues with both the visitor and customer flows, and then we designed a new café with its own identity . The name Clover Café was inspired by the former farm’s harvesting of clover to feed their cattle. The Clover Café has now become a popular destination with increased visitor numbers, providing refreshments to customers exploring the beautiful gardens.

Whilst the Arrival Building was being extended and refurbished, we were asked to join the team to design the new Hill Top building which included a new restaurant, event space and learning centre.

We specified all of the fixtures, finishes, loose furniture and decorative lighting as well as designing the bespoke furniture for the learning centre and restaurant survey. The buildings have recently won national and regional architectural and RICS awards.


In 2019 we were asked by International Real Estate organisation Vastint to work with the Lithuanian team to develop an office camp facility that would reach beyond expectations.

Following the completion of the internal masterplan, we were appointed to provide full detail designs for the communal lobbies, lift cores, central event space and Business Lounge. With sustainability at the core of the Vastint ethos, it is no surprise that Business Garden Vilnius has recently achieved the highest LEED scores in Europe.

The 10,000 square foot central lobby, branded ‘The Forum’ is a multifunctional space that offers a range of facilities to the local community, and The Lounge offers flexible work space with a warm and welcoming environment.

For the Vilnius design, we drew inspiration from the nation’s favourite sport, basketball, and the Fluxus art movement to bring a sense of familiarity and locality to the space.


In 2018 we were asked by Tristan Capital and The Lotus Group to pitch for the ‘reimagining’ of two Northern Irish shopping centres. Our radical strategies won the appointment and the proposals were developed swiftly.

For The Outlet, our main challenge was to cover the mall from the ever-present inclement weather. Using John’s experience working on an award winning redevelopment of a listed public building with ETFE roof structures, we were able to successfully design a lightweight roof structure that met the stringent fire regulations in NI. Now, the roof is not only a place of shelter, but it is a striking colour changing feature.

For Junction One, we developed a masterplan strategy for radically re-routing the approaches off the dual carriageway to the offer, replanning the site to incorporate new restaurant buildings and reorganising the existing retail units. Planning was successfully granted in 2018 and has since seen Nando’s, Starbucks and McDonalds occupy the new buildings.

Since both projects have been completed, footfalls and sales have continued to outperform the expectations made back in 2016.


Designed for our long term client The Restaurant Group and located at Aberdeen airport, Bocco is a modern Italian-inspired space influenced by the signature shapes of Venetian architecture.

We paired warm terracotta tones with fresh splashes of colour from the feature terrazzo bar to create a relaxed environment within the bustling airport. Bold architectural signage along with geometric patterns on dividing screens and the bar front make reference to the shutters and windows seen throughout northern Italy’s winding streets, giving the space an outdoor feel.

7. LOCK 29

Following the acquisition of Castle Quay shopping centre by Cherwell District Council in late 2017, managing agents Montegu Evans approached us to look at the public realm outside the empty BHS store. The brief was to connect the existing offers with the northside’s Waterfront cinema and restaurant development.

We quickly identified that the centre point of the extended shopping centre would shift to where the old department store was previously located. This provided a ready-built opportunity to create a link between the new development, the main car park and the historic waterside.

The turnerbates team developed the idea to provide a community space that supported local businesses and retailers under one roof, offering food and beverage, and a flexible event space with centralised public toilets and changing facilities.

With the full support of the local authority we created a new ‘Lock 29’ brand identity, making reference to its location along the Oxford canal. Lock 29’s ethos and design has the local community at its core, with zones designed to showcase all things local and be accessible to all. The venue has established itself and consists of a vibrant mix of independent retailers, regular comedy and music shows, pop up cinemas and educational workshops taking place.


Restaurant entrepreneur Sonny Huang first approached turnerbates at the Restaurant and Bar Design Show back in 2016 when he visited our stand, and talks began about his concept. After visiting a number of potential sites with Sonny, the prime location of 56 Old Compton Street in Soho was secured.

ROBATA Japanese Grill opened in 2019. We provided a complete holistic design service for the restaurant, from concept, detailed interior design planning, brand and menu creation and project management.

The ROBATA concept was inspired by the five elements of Japanese philosophy: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Void. We designed bespoke, bold illustrations in the Japanese manga style to characterise these elements and reflect the menu on offer.


We are proud to say that we have been working with ASK Italian for over 10 years. Over the past decade, we have completed ten new acquisition restaurant sites nationally, from Harrogate in Yorkshire to Taunton in Somerset. We have also carried out twenty five refurbishments for the restaurant chain – including the Horsham branch three times!

"turnerbates have worked with Ask Italian for over a decade, successfully evolving the design of our restaurant whilst reflecting the progression of the brand. Together we have built an effective, collaborative relationship, one Ask Italian look forward to continuing."

Emma BrookesSenior Design Manager, Ask Italian


Following the success of the first stages of the Timpuri Noi Square mixed-use development, we were invited to continue working with the Romanian team on the next exciting stage of the scheme: a food hall across two floors.

Our concept includes four large restaurant units, a theatrical central island bar, multiple fresh and hot food units, an events space, roof terrace and cocktail bar.

We want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all of our clients, mentors, inspirers, influencers, collaborators and educators – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Here’s to 2023, and the next decade…

by Imogen Aldridge
Studio and Marketing Coordinator, turnerbates

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