McDonald's rethought by Landini Associates in Hong Kong
Nowadays, when even the smallest street food eateries are paying at least as much (or in some sad cases more) attention to their interior design as the food they serve, the outlets of traditional fast food chains seem somewhat dated. The post-modern outburst of bright colours, bold graphics, sharp lighting, and extensive use plastic became the signature design principle of McDonald’s & the like, reflecting accurately the company’s fast & fun attitude. As a refreshing counterpoint, a Hong Kong outlet braved to break away with the chain’s comics-inspired visual language, and took a more contemporary yet toned-down approach upon redesigning their space.
The work was executed by Sydney-based studio Landini Associates, who, instead of creating a vivid, full-fledged sensory experience within the interior, decided to create a neutral, relaxing background to munching on burger. Simple concrete tables, neutral tones, and atmospheric lighting changing in accordance with the time of the day characterise the space, creating a modest and harmonious environment that does not steal the show from what’s on the plate.
The intention to ‘hero the food’ is also apparent from a surprising switch: the regular backstage kitchen layout was dropped in favor of an exposed cooking area, where meals are prepared in front of the customers. This not only brings staff and guests closer, but also presents a smart way to refute the urban myths around the preparation of McDonald’s meals.
Operating as a branding agency, Landini was responsible not only for the interior, but they redesigned everything from wall graphics through product packaging to staff uniforms. The result is a refreshing, markedly thought-through space, introducing a new concept to the company that hopefully will be applied in other branches as well.
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