SemiCreative 3 Tom's

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    James Irvine
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Will Vink
  • Client
    Tom Worthington

Tom’s is a playful new sandwich bar located in the heart of Otautahi, Christchurch. Tom came to us with a long, narrow 20-square-metre site with big windows and lovely light and a pretty simple brief: “fun pops of colour, as much customer seating as possible, lots of sneaky storage and a big ‘sandwiches’ sign written on the street window.”

Every early discussion we had about the space ended by talking about one particular colour. It couldn’t have not been blue. Cobalt blue. A couple of weeks later, Will Vink (Ltd. Co) who is behind the playful brand identity, turned up with the perfect colour swatch: Yves Klein Blue.

Not the most common of colours, the challenge became matching this dynamic hue in a series of real-world finishes: paint, powder-coat, upholstery and laminate. After a bit of a scramble, we had our complete material palette in ‘Tom’s Blue’ (as it’s referred to by the locals). We clashed the blue with a few feature pops of an (roughly) inverted colour, 'Pioneer Red’ and we were away.

The materials were selected with the criteria of being durable, practical and budget friendly. The corner table, overhead shelving and fixed tables are all a combo of steel box/tube/sheet and perforated steel. The counter is a new (to NZ) high pressure laminate from Lamitak (we were pretty lucky to find such a good colour match) and the banquette by Harrows is upholstered in a faux leather (not that we were trying to hide that, it’s blue) to touch on that deli/diner feel.

In our opinion, the biggest success of this project (besides the ‘sandwiches’ shadow created in the late morning is that it compliments what Tom’s has to offer. Although the fitout is super punchy and bold, it still sits neatly behind (or even highlights) Tom’s sandos and pink buns, which are the real heroes of the space.