beautiful open eatery with lights on plants in the ceiling


Rushden Lakes
October 2020
Prosper Design

Restaurant chain Chi offers a contemporary take on pan-Asian dishes and, when it planned to launch a new ‘Asian Favourites’ branch in Rushden Lakes, it tasked Prosper Design and Urban Planters Northamptonshire and Peterborough to create an interior which both reflected its brand and signalled its new fast-casual dining direction.

Prosper hit upon the idea of creating an interior which drew upon elements of Asian garden design, using a range of natural materials and features to create an immersive feel. Naturally, this required some professional planting features!

bar with plant wall in the back

A carefully-selected mixture of restaurant planting was used to achieve this. The tone is instantly set on entering the premises by clusters of replica bamboo framing the doorway, climbing planting soften the ornate grills at the window and screen off the outside world, replica trailing plants cascade down wooden panels above the bar, while a vivid green wall provides a contrasting background to a neon-lit ‘Asian Favourites’ sign.

Most striking of all is a central blossom tree feature which seems to grow out of a trough integrated into surrounding bench seating and cascades clouds of white blossom above the diners. Urban Planters’ Heather and Steve McNicol carefully built this replica tree with care, to ensure it made a striking visual impact on entering the space. They positioned the branches so that they dropped to varying heights, to create texture and density to the feature.

The overall design instantly draws diners into an environment far from the streets of Rushden outside, setting the tone for their Pan-Asian dining experience.