Design Focus: Lido, Troon


The second of Buzz works venues to open at the end of last year, was Lido in Troon, which has been rebuilt from scratch after a devastating fire.

My first impression was that there was a sense of familiarity about Lido, but at the same time it felt completely different. A view that I apparently share with its regulars. Because it’s not until you sit down and look around properly that you can fully appreciate all the differences.
There are now a linear series of mid grey awnings protecting the full height glass facade from the street. Above the awnings and stretching 27 meters is a backlit Krion fascia panel that sits quietly in daytime and comes alive with a little touch of humour on the street in the evening.
One of the main architectural differences is, of course, that Buzzworks have extended Lido into the shop next door and created a private dining room, and the toilets have been moved into this extra space too. The open kitchen is in the same place, but the island bar, although it still looks like an island bar on the cafe-bar side, on the brasserie side (to the right as you come in) it has been realigned to create an extra seating area.
Jim Hamilton also designed Lido and Transition Interiors were the principle contractor. Says Jim, “Colin and Kenny had made me very aware of Lido’s history, previous success and inherent popularity. My brief was to respectfully re-invent it so that it would share equal measures of success and popularity. As before the guys wanted it to appeal to a wide audience and I also wanted to make sure that the new Lido wouldn’t alienate a very loyal, local audience.”
He continues, “Within the largely bespoke design an incredible level of craftsmanship can be witnessed throughout. Transition who carried out the work were both very willing to experiment and very capable partners in the process.” Transition boss Stephen Brownlow, is equally as complimentary of Jim. He says, “Jim would constantly sketch details on an iPad and ask us to make the visions come to life. Like all complicated projects it was very challenging, but we enjoyed the process and the end result is fantastic. It also allowed us to demonstrate the diverse set of skills that we have to offer.”
Stephen describes the business as a ‘One-stop shop’, as it does everything from manufacturing, to sourcing kitchen equipment, supplying bespoke joinery, and shopfitting too. Although they used to do mainly back of house, in recent years they have extended it’s offering and they certainly brought all their skills to the party at Lido.
As soon as you enter Lido you can’t miss the large Patisserie cabinet that holds the delightful array of tasty looking pastries and cakes. Says Stephen, “We sourced this cabinet from Italy and we were asked to find an angular cabinet not a curved one. I’ve worked with the Blairs for a long time and they tell me what they want and I look for it.”
On the right there is the Brasserie which has a Mediterranean-style black and white encaustic tiled rug pattern and a mix of booths, rectangular, square and round tables. The tables in the middle of this area are low, compared to the tables on the other side of the bar. Booths, have been added which sit in the window space and around the walls. In fact in this area about 20 covers have been added. The booths, have a diamond stitch quilted Kvadrat material on the backs, and are encased in Krion. It has some very distinctive over scaled dome lampshades from Artemide – while some of the other shades resemble a series of honeycomb chambers. The window booths have particularly impressive shades, which are also used in the private dining room.
This area is not fussy, it is an inherent simplicity but the honey toned wall covering adds depth. Jim tells me it’s “reconstituted veneer, made up of tiny intricate pieces of reclaimed wood”. It’s the first time it has been used in the UK and using a marquetry type technique slightly resembles the texture of herringbone tweed. The same wall covering is used in various other locations throughout Lido. It is juxtaposed in the Brasserie by the reflective antique silver glass mirror panels that double up as Object art, whilst helping to bounce natural light around the room.
That brings us to the Cafe-bar, situated on the left as you enter. It features high poseur tables, which seat four comfortably. They have sandblasted, solid oak hardwood pedestals with thick zinc tops. Pewter toned leather bar stools compliment the poseur tables and are perfectly formed, allowing people of all ages to perch with the ideal height of foot rest. All the tables feature pretty flower pots containing mint.
In the window area there are small two-seater booths, with white leather seats, and there are also four larger booths along the main wall which feature light steel coloured leather upholstery. They sit back to back with a floor to ceiling shelving unit which features a large collection of church like electronic
candles. This unit also adopts the reconstituted veneer and antique mirror
panels. The shelving unit also acts as a semi transparent screen to the private
dining area. To the rear of the cafe-bar, you will find the entrance to the toilets
– but now you have to traverse a small corridor, to reach them. They are, as
you would expect, high quality and seamless.
The cafe-bar has a wide plank oak floor, while the private dining area, utilises the same tiles used in the brasserie. The private dining area also has a high level gas fire on a whitewashed, distressed brick wall and features pendant lights over both tables. Natural linen curtains line the back wall, and are also used to close the room off from the cafe-bar. It has large, bespoke oak dining tables which can be re-arranged to suit all occasions. It’s a great space.
The bar and the work stations feature some beautifully crafted oak parquet tiles – in a hexagonal pattern. While the bar top is of course Krion. The bar in the cafe-bar is the main focal point of the room, and it too is a great backbar. The mirror polished stainless steel structure is a true work of art, hand crafted by artisan blacksmiths in East Kilbride.
Two new cooking features at Lido are the Robata Char Grill and the Churrasco Barbecue Pit, both sourced by Transition. In fact the whole kitchen is very high tech, with lots of energy saving devices – although that doesn’t necessarily apply to the Robata and Churrasco – which are both gas fuelled.
The last word goes to Stephen Brownlow, a Troon local himself, “Lido has always had a soul. It was sorely missed and it is great to have it back. It makes me very proud to have been part of that process. It is the same, but it is totally different.”

Category: Features
Tags: Alison Blair, Buzzworks, Colin Blair, DESIGN, Kenny Blair, Lido, refurbishment, Stephen Brownlow, Transition Interiors, Troon