Interactive Table Tops at Inamo

Inamo restaurant, London, table tops in Corian®, project by Blacksheep Architecture and Design; photo Francesca Yorke for Blacksheep

Corian® solid surface projects a taste of the future at London’s concept restaurant Inamo

Blacksheep interior architecture and design specified Corian® for the interactive table tops at Inamo - an exciting concept in dining in London’s West End - where technological innovation and high quality Asian food offer customers a taste of the future.

At the heart of the Inamo experience is an ingenious ordering system that allows diners to interact directly with the kitchen, rather than having to depend on the availability of wait staff. Stunning graphics and photographically illustrated menus showing the chef’s creations in real size are projected onto the sleek tables made from Corian® solid surface in Glacier White. Using a circular touchpad recessed into the table top, customers can then navigate their way through the dishes and send their order directly to the kitchen.

The interactive menu system, housed in and projected from futuristic pods above each table, invites diners to experiment with the technology beyond simply ordering their food. They can change the mood and ambiance by selecting from differently coloured and patterned ‘virtual’ tablecloths, play games with their dining companion, watch their meal being prepared via a web-cam in the kitchen, browse local area information and even order a cab, all from the comfort of their tables.

“We wanted to create a new dining experience that reflects the technological advancements of today’s modern living,” explained Noel Hunwick, one half of the dynamic young entrepreneurial duo behind Inamo.

“Corian® surfacing material offered the ideal blank canvas for the projections, while also being very attractive as a stand-alone surface without the graphics switched on. What’s more we needed something that was easy-to-clean and that was robust enough to keep looking good over time.”

“The key words were warmth, vibrancy, charm and theatre as it was important to balance out the restaurant’s technological aspects by creating a sensuous, social space with a strong personality,” said Blacksheep design consultancy director Tim Mutton.

“Corian® solid surface was a natural fit as its clean, modern aesthetic and underlying scientific make-up complement the technological ethos of the overall concept. At the same time it feels great to the touch. As the tables are interactive, they’re a very important part of the sensory experience so it was critical that the material should feel inviting and pleasant to touch and not just look good.

“We needed a material that integrated seamlessly with the touch pad technology, with no static interference, and Corian® surfacing material worked best on this level as well. Getting the ‘right white’ that changed exactly as we needed it to with the projections was very important. Initially we did look at other materials, including marble and laminates, but none of them worked as well. Corian® in Glacier White was spot-on.”

The advantages of Corian® surfacing material in busy restaurant and bar environments goes beyond versatility and the fresh, clean aesthetic. It offers a durability, stain-resistance and ease of maintenance that means day-to-day spills and scuffs are taken care of with regular cleaning. Should any accidental damage occur, the surface is repairable and renewable, offering a longevity of function that enhances sustainability – a key concern of both contemporary designers and the owners of Inamo. The homogenous, nonporous, and seamless material offers further benefits in the form of easy maintenance, a must in any restaurant environment.