Canova Hall: A Former Department Store Canteen in London, Transformed

Missing the days of gathering in restaurants and bars this time of year, we’ve been admiring the festive Canova Hall in London, designed by UK- and Spain-based firm Red Deer.

We first spotted the Brixton pub (and hot-desking space) back in September, when we featured the London flat of one of the architects behind Red Deer, Lionel Real de Azúa, and stumbled on the restaurant in our research. Its interiors have plenty of old charm, curtained banquettes, and patinated walls—a nod to “old food courts across Europe and South America, hailing back to its origins as a workhouse and canteen for department store workers two centuries ago,” according to the architects.

Join us for a virtual walk through.

Photography by Adam Firman courtesy of Red Deer, except where noted.

Exterior of Canova Hall in London, Photo by Adam Firman via Red Deer Above: The Canova Hall space was originally the canteen for employees of Le Bon Marché, the famed department store that opened in London in 1877, modeled on the Paris department store of the same name. Now, it maintains its stately exterior.
Interior of Canova Hall in London, Photo by Adam Firman via Red Deer Above: Inside, the team stripped back the interiors to reveal traces of the old. “The most pleasant surprise was discovering original intact green terrazzo with a beige border,” Lionel, the architect, told The Spaces.
Bar of Canova Hall in London, Photo by Adam Firman via Red Deer Above: A vintage spigot behind the bar. Not pictured: a repurposed antique ice box from Argentina, which now holds a selection of craft beers.
Banquettes at Canova Hall in London, Photo by Adam Firman via Red Deer Above: A stretch of wood-clad banquettes are fitted with simple cloth curtains.
Banquette in Canova Hall in London, Photo via Red Deer Above: Marble tables and a palette of greens. Photo by Mariell Lind Hansen, courtesy of Red Deer.
Dining Area in Canova Hall in London, Photo by Mariell Lind Hansen via Red Deer Above: In a back dining room, long tables and school chairs give the feel of an informal dinner party. Photo by Mariell Lind Hansen, courtesy of Red Deer.
Dining Area in Canova Hall in London, Photo by Mariell Lind Hansen via Red Deer Above: The walls were left stripped and patinated, to charming effect. Not shown is the open kitchen, designed with market stalls in mind and raised so that diners can see in. Photo by Mariell Lind Hansen, courtesy of Red Deer.
Detail of Canova Hall in London, Photo by Adam Firman via Red Deer Above: A good spot for drinks.

These days Canova Hall is also offering delivery of DIY pizza and cocktail kits and small-batch gins for enjoying at home, with shipping across the UK; head to Canova Hall for more info if you’re local.

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