Fish Shop (Queen Street)

smithfield, DUBLIN 7

Adapting A Protected Structure for a Food Business

’Thanks for all your hard work, you’ve been a pleasure to deal with and we are really pleased with the project and how it has turned out.’

Peter Hogan, Fish Shop

Fish Shop—a speciality food business—had operated successfully from a small unit in the Blackrock Market for a number of years. The business sought to expand and a number of options and locations were examined before settling on a unit located within a Protected Structure on Queen Street, in Smithfield.

The project posed a number of challenges—the size of the unit, the protected status of the existing fabric, and compliance with Fire Safety and Accessibility requirements. In close collaboration with the clients, a layout was carefully formulated to satisfy all requirements and offer a degree of flexibility in how the business would operate day to day.

The honesty and authenticity of the food offering is reflected in the choice of materials – used in their raw and unfinished nature – exposed brick, raw steel & reclaimed timber. Existing non-original finishes and linings were peeled away to reveal the underlying fabric. Existing brickwork was deemed of sufficient character to retain as a finished/unfinished surface—subject to cleaning and patch repairs. The exposed brick forms a strong feature internally. Simple white tiles laid in a brick pattern and raw steel complete the aesthetic. The clients adopted a very hands-on approach and undertook some of the fit-out works alongside the contractor. Some design decisions were informed by both aesthetic and practical considerations. For example, surface mounting the electrics meant that money was saved due to retaining the existing fire-rated ceiling construction intact. This approach tied in with the raw and unpolished aesthetic.

Due to the compact proportions of the unit, a decision was made to build-in as much of the seating & counters as was feasible—the most efficient use of the available floor area. A 6m bench runs along most of the length of the exposed brick wall serving multiple tables. This is constructed of reclaimed timbers fixed to bespoke steel supports, simply lacquered to retain their raw steel finish.

The shopfront was in poor repair as found and was hidden below layers of paint. These were stripped back, repaired and refinished to fully expose the details of the fluting and cornicing. A single colour unifies the shopfront and adjacent entrance while a very simple signage strategy is sympathetic to the historic character.

This project sought to balance the often contradictory needs of a food business with the limitations of an historic structure – a balance my clients are more than happy with.

Fish Shop Website 

Typology Commercial, Fit-Out
Location Queen Street, Dublin 7
Client Peter Hogan & Jumoke
Status Completed
Date Spring 2015