Lori Zimmer

Bee-Friendly Furniture Grows Herbs for London's National Theater Restaurant

by , 08/17/11

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Ryan Frank, National Theater London, South Africa, reclaimed wood, recycled materials, bee-friendly, Terrace Bar & Food

Furniture designer Ryan Frank has created a series of sustainable timber furniture for the National Theater in London. The furniture flanks the outdoor area of theater’s sustainable restaurant, Terrace Bar & Food. The bee-friendly benches, tables and stools adorn the terrace, bringing edible vegetation, for the restaurant’s use, close at hand.


green design, eco design, sustainable design, Ryan Frank, National Theater London, South Africa, reclaimed wood, recycled materials, bee-friendly, Terrace Bar and Food

The Terrace Bar & Food wanted to incorporate their dedication to sustainability, in the look and feel of their outdoor space. Being a recent member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, they found Frank’s vision to coincide perfectly with not only ethics, but also the social significance of using sustainable furniture.

Frank constructed the furniture from reclaimed pine planks, which he felt could emulate original beams from The National Theater, creating a symbiosis between design elements and architecture. At one end of each bench and table, Frank has included a built-in planter, integrating plants and bees with the furniture. Inside he has planted edible herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage, which the restaurant uses in specialty cocktails. It also gives the terrace a delicious aroma, in addition to the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen!

Each piece is set on movable castor wheels, enabling the restaurant to rearrange the room according to event, traffic flow, or weather. This keeps the terrace feeling dynamic, changing from day to day if desired.  The castors also enable staff to position the growing herbs in favorable sunlight when the restaurant is closed.

Raised in South Africa, Ryan Frank’s work has influences from traditional African design, with a strong dedication to sustainability.

+ Ryan Frank

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