Jeremie Colletto, one half of the pair behind Primeur, Western Laundry and Jolene, is French; a cultural background that probably partly influenced him to muse about something warm in colour with texture … the simplicity of the Shakers coupled with the ethical and textural constructions of mud huts, cob houses, lime plastering etcetera.
That was early in 2019 when he first contacted Clayworks regarding his vision for a restaurant in the quaint Cornish port of Fowey, historically the departure point for ships carrying the clay out of Cornwall in a bygone industrial era. With a background in cob building, lime, ‘mud-huts’ and several years travelling the world studying vernacular architecture, the brief was music to ears of Clayworks founders Adam Weismann and Katy Bryce, who also have an empathy with the Shakers who are known for their simple living, architecture, technological innovation, and furniture.
Clayworks founders Adam Weismann and Katy Bryce working on an early project in 2008.
That was also the start of a design process that involved welcoming Jeremie and his business partner David Gingell to our workshop on the Lizard Peninsula and spending a morning playing with colours and textures before sending them off to Kynance Cove for a picnic lunch.
Clayworks Studio, Mullion, Cornwall.
Formally a bank – and derelict for several years – the building’s defining features, its large windows and ancient brickwork were to be preserved at all costs and clay plasters would be used on the non-brick walls and other surfaces where they could catch and play with the light and bring the walls and the restaurant to life and highlight the rustic modernism of the design vision.
The shell of a building to start with!
Clay plasters sourced in Cornwall sat well with Fitzroys values: the restaurant’s menu is 60% locally sourced vegetables complemented with local fish and foraged seaweeds.
The interior plays elegantly with the contrasting rich rust reds of the bar and the white walls where the colour changes subtly depending upon the incidence of light in the room. By graduating in a pink/grey colour plaster, Jeremie and David have created an interior that exudes comfort: warmth in the dark stormy winter nights and coolness in the hot, lazy summer days.