DLM Architects Ltd, Guernsey, 2018


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DLM was appointed to convert a dated events venue into a raw and gritty environment for a new Latino restaurant, Buho (Owl).

With only 4 weeks to establish a concept, detailed design and a construction program for works to be achieved between pre-booked events. Phase 1 was to be completed within 4 weeks, ensuring the space was fit for a wedding, followed by a 2 week window to complete for opening night.

Working very closely throughout all stages with the client and contractor, we were able to deliver, a true team effort and testament to all consultants and subcontractors involved. With a budget of only £200,000 we began investigating what materials we could source within this time scale, whilst not compromising our sustainable ethos and design style. The scheme developed from a palette of locally available reclaimed materials and offcuts, designed to provide a cost effective, but robust and flexible space with a welcoming atmosphere.

A layering of natural tones and textures form a vivid background canvas allowing accessories and guests to provide vibrant highlights. A blackened steel suspended grid sits between existing beams, framing a tapestry of weathered metal and distressed timber that conceals all services and acoustic control, with a cascade of adjustable mixed lighting below. Almost every aspect of bars, booths, tables, lighting and ceilings have been bespokely designed by DLM and fabricated locally to form a cohesive theme of detail.

Existing structure is clad in reclaimed brick, with a monolithic black brick and steel bar contrasting against the textured venetian plaster beyond. Elsewhere, heavily charred reclaimed scaffold boards line more intimate areas, with distressed planks defining spacial breaks between zones.

Working in collaboration with local signwriters and artists, we were able to integrate the brand into the interior design and create a unique atmosphere.

The raw materials selected provide a rich warmth and varied texture, a constantly changing ambiance throughout day and night, which happily adopts further layering as the restaurant evolves.


  • Begun: Mar 2018
  • Completed: Jul 2018
  • Floor area: 186m2
  • Sector: Retail
  • Total cost: £234,018
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Dec 2017
  • Procurement: JCT Minor works
  • Address: Buho, Fermain Valley Hotel, Fermain Lane, St. Peter Port , Guernsey, GY1 1ZZ, United Kingdom

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