The making of.. Ffresh Restaurant - Interior Design Project

Client - Tim Rice Design

Location -Ffresh Restaurant, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Project brief  - Copper installation - 6 trees, 3m x 4m. 7m copper 'waterfall' bar bulkhead

Duration - 2 months studio and onsite construction

Team - 8 artists / labourers 

Copper was supplied by Welsh supplier Aalco, Chepstow. Over 2 tonnes of copper were used which included over 300m's of tube and 500m of 200mm x 0.3mm of copper sheet. 

The designers concept boards show the 2 aspects of copper constructions required - bar and trees.

Bar plans and dimensions.

A delivery of over a half tonne of copper pipe in 5 diameters arrived to create a industrial waterfall effect forthe front and underneath of bulkhead of bar.

3500 sections of tubes were cut by hand and machine to cover a surface of 7800m x 500mm in vertical pipes so to create the required effect.

Mosaic of copper pipe. Underneath of bulkhead.

My design and maunfacturing interpretation of the designers initial concept, inspired by the 3 images provided in the designers plan. These designs became the final design of the installation.

Preparation of the steel support beams was essential. Roofing insulation allowed me to  create a curved and padded surface enabling me to create indendations in the copper surface later on in the installation.

11 lengths of 3m 200cm x 0.3mm copper sheet were joined together using 3M VHB tape pressed in between 2 layers of copper to make one large sheet. These pre fabricated sheets were then installed around each pillar to create the tree trunks. Here im cutting to size a sheet ready for installation. 

Once the trunks were assembled cardboard was used to create the 1st stage branch templates. These were constructed to mark and visualise position of the branches on the trunks. (number 2) The size and width of each branch formed a template that allowed for the preparation of each branch to be construted off site. This process was influenced by dress makers patterns.

Laying out the 2nd and 3rd stage branches with leaves, aided the visualisation of forms to be hand and individually cut from the pre assembled sheet copper.

This process aided the visualisation of scale and movement of the branches woith their leaves, also brought an opportunity to understand the connection joints between the branches.

Specifically designed leaves where laser cut from 0.5mm polished copper sheet. Polished copper was chosen to create a contrast to the milled copper sheet. Each leaf was to be hand curved to create strength in installation. The curves and designes slits in the leaves allowed the copper to reflect light, also becoming more organic in appearance.


All stage branches are rivetted in place before indents are created to suggest bark on the tree as required from the brief.

Stage 3 branches are cut assembled and rivited into place.

Completed work.

Finished work being veiwed through the window showing location in Cardiff Bay.

More images will be posted when I have the installation photographed.

Ffresh Restaurant

3M VHB Tape


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