Case study – Kimchee Pancras Square
Established in 2011 by Korean businessman, Dong Hyun Kim, the Kimchee brand consists of two restaurants in London, in Holborn and Pancras Square. The latter was opened in April 2017, following a comprehensive fit-out programme, managed exclusively by Hannaford.
Appointed in July 2015, Hannaford was responsible for delivering the vision of the conceptual designer, Aiji Inoue, CEO of Japanese based design studio, Doyle Collection.
Located adjacent to St Pancras International and King’s Cross stations, Kimchee Pancras Square occupies the ground floor and basement of a nine-floor office block. Working with the landlord of the building and architect, Haskoll, Hannaford’s team were on site for 30 weeks with responsibility for every facet of the project. This included the necessary redevelopment of the restaurant exterior to allow for a bespoke entrance foyer. All of the external dining furniture and planters were handmade at Hannaford’s workshop in St Albans.
A raised floor was constructed, to incorporate plumbing for decorative fixtures, such as the water feature in the customer welcome area and the required utilities for the bar and kitchen. Stonemasons were appointed to clad the kitchen walls in specialist Neolith tiles, as well undertaking complementary decorative tiling throughout the restaurant.
Ensuring a faithful representation of Aiji Inoue’s unique concept, Hannaford’s team of skilled craftsmen used a range of joinery techniques to create the highly intricate walnut lattice work, designed for dining privacy and ornamental purposes. Among a number of joinery features, Kimchee had a 4m high ‘hidden door’ installed, which is the largest ever made by Hannaford. All timber used in the project was acquired from sources accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), of which Hannaford is a founder member.
Such is the nature of authentic Korean cuisine, the kitchen required a significant number of gas burners. Hannaford co-ordinated the complete Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) works, which included the installation of lifts, fire suppression system, CCTV and digital audio system.
Kimchee Pancras Square occupies two floors, which necessitated the addition of three structural mezzanine floors, for plant and storage. Each of these was suspended from the floor above, to ensure maximum efficiency of the space available.
Unique to Kimchee in the UK, ‘Shinpo’ BBQs were installed under each table in the downstairs restaurant. Requiring both fume and heat extraction to comply with the necessary Health and Safety regulations, this added further complexity to the MEP installation but ultimately has ensured a special dining experience for guests.
Commenting on the project delivery, Keith Speed, Managing Director, Hannaford, said:
“As retail brands innovate, Hannaford has built a reputation for seamless management of fit-out projects, as well as superior craftsmanship, professionalism and attention to detail. Kimchee Pancras Square enabled Hannaford’s team to apply their technical proficiency to a highly challenging design brief. A number of intricate, large-scale walnut fixtures were all hand-made at our workshop in St Albans, delivering stunning impact.
Hannaford’s ability to tackle issues and implement innovative and creative techniques to exceed client expectations, sets us apart. We pride ourselves on our accountability and end-to-end management, which instils confidence and trust in our business. It was a great pleasure to successfully hand over Kimchee Pancras Square.”
Testimonial from Dong Hyun Kim, Founder, Kimchee:
“I had long envisioned bringing my native Korean cuisine to London and welcoming diners to a sleek and stylish interior, whilst maintaining a real sense of Korean authenticity. Hannaford has delivered this vision at our newest venue in Pancras Square, of which I am exceptionally proud. Their work is simply excellent.”