Tom Brown

London, UK

Cornerstone is the first solo venture from the celebrated chef Tom Brown. The restaurant has been designed to connect to the chef and his Cornish heritage with the industrial history of London’s east end.

The concept is focused around Tom - the kitchen is, therefore, the central feature of the restaurant, conceived as a stage, with the tables arranged as a theatre-in-the-round. The cooking process is experienced as a performance, with every diner enjoying a view of Tom and his team preparing their food.

Tom Brown © Stella Pictures Limited


Designed as a singular, sculptural object, the kitchen's form is driven by its functional requirements. Every detail has been carefully considered to serve the day-to-day operations of a busy restaurant.

Back-of-house spaces are located around the edges to rationalise an otherwise awkward-shaped plan. The central kitchen acts as a hub within the space and allows staff to pass through and around it to facilitate the operations of the restaurant.

Cornerstone CGI © Studio Archetype

Cornerstone plan © Holland Harvey

Found Objects

The restaurant is embellished by a series of found objects that represent Tom’s background, alongside a number of design collaborations. This layering of stories and objects was driven by Tom’s desire to make a truly personal and distinctive space.

A feature table, built by Jack Badger, was commissioned by Tom to encourage communal dining and will take a prominent position in the main space; made from 5,000-year-old bog oak salvaged from the bottom of a river in Croatia.

Detail of feature table © Ed Reeves

Low Cost Materials

Elsewhere in the space, low-cost materials have been used as storage walls and wine racks whilst a mural by local artist Carlos Peñalver captures Tom Brown in a surreal maritime scene, reflecting the origins of the restaurant's name - the client's favourite song by the Arctic Monkeys - and the seafood orientated menu.

Lighting © Ed Reeves

Mural by Carlos Peñalver © Ed Reeves

Wine rack © Ed Reeves

Storage wall © Ed Reeves