Formroom imagined Hippo as an urban retreat for wellness-focused dining. An all day experience, Hippo is a multi-faceted space that aims to promote holistic health and slow-living with sustainability at its core.

Mission & Branding.

Our sustainability series at Formroom has so far included interviews and sessions with ground-breaking pioneers in the world of architecture, design and material production. Hippo was conceived as a visual response to some of the incredible things we’ve learnt so far, as well as a glimpse into how these principles might be put into practice in the very near future.

Our concept surrounding Hippo was to deliver an unique sustainable restaurant concept, complete with it’s own lifestyle philosophy and entire brand world. You can find Hippo’s distinctive brand language echoed across all the assets, interiors and product. We wanted to make the Hippo brand a philosophy, a lifestyle and a showcase of what happens when you align strategy, brand communications and interiors – you build brand worlds.

The name Hippo derives from Hippocrates, the Greek physician known as the father of medicine and advocate for holistic wellbeing and the healing properties of food and drink. Hippocrates understood the power of nutrition in maintaining good health, advocating, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This philosophy aligns seamlessly with Hippo’s mission to promote wellness through its menu, ingredients and environment.

We used curvilinear forms, promoting a sense of fluidity, organicness and interconnectivity. The distinctive Hippo palette of bright lilac and greens is an ode to the life and vibrancy of the natural world, and its abundance of healing ingredients.

Experience.

Hippo’s menu is a testament to nature’s diversity, focusing on freshness, sustainability, and unique flavours. The dining experience is thoughtfully crafted to promote health and well-being, with a nod to holistic principles. Some dishes even incorporate CBD and THC for those curious about alternative wellness.

The guest experience at Hippo provides opportunities for wellness experiences and an education in health and nutrition. The design seamlessly integrates educational and service technology, to enrich guest experience, and educate on what is going onto customer’s plates – and where it came from. The sustainable restaurant space offers multiple seating areas for different moods – all designed with a futuristic, wellness-driven mission in mind.

The café at Hippo offers a variety of house blends and wellness drinks, available to takeaway so Hippo can be taken on the go. The cafe’s atmosphere focuses on wellbeing and calm, with grassy rugs creating a stylized glade, and comfy Hippo design seating under organic sculptural forms that drip from circular skylights.

Design & Materials.

Hippo’s space is an extension the brand’s commitment to well-being. With multiple dining areas, it’s a space that celebrates design, the natural world and the unique properties of nature’s ingredients. The design is inspired by organic forms, with punctuations of retro-futuristic glamour. Through our design matrix at Hippo, we want to capture the essence of wellness philosophy – from its ancient origins to an imagined, fantastical future world.

Reflective organic forms act as light fixtures, mirrored by molten forms that serve as low tables and bar seating. Padded conversation caves provide a modern twist on the 70’s conversation pits, offering cozy retreats for intimate gatherings. Everywhere you look, hanging and planted foliage inhabit the space, bringing the natural world indoors. A central winding path, crafted from reflective material, acts as our “river,” symbolizing the vital role of water sources in nature.

Columns seamlessly emerge from the floors, creating a sense of fluidity and unity in the space. We’ve meticulously considered the impact of lighting on mood, offering a diverse range of lighting solutions in addition to abundant natural and skylight sources, ensuring a dynamic atmosphere that evolves with the changing times of day.

Like the ingredients in the food , materials at Hippo are a guiding principle. We have specified innovative sustainable materials like Mogu ‘Pluma’ tiles, made from mycelium. The project takes sustainability seriously, and while we acknowledge not everything in the project is 100% sustainable, we prioritize MAGNA ‘Ice Nugget’ glass made from glass bottles, recycled plastic bottle velvet from FABRAA, and Pinatex leather crafted from discarded pineapple leaf fibers. The tabletops feature locally sourced natural stone, and we’ve chosen a Graphenstone paint that absorbs CO2. Even our metals are 100% recyclable or have eco-friendly powder coating, specified from Ssab. At every turn, we aim to demonstrate that design can be eco-friendly, while both informing and expressing the brand’s unique style.

Lifestyle & product.

At Hippo, design is at the core of the brand philosophy. Hippo provides not only a unique sustainable restaurant concept and dining experience, but also a range of lifestyle products that allow guests to bring the Hippo philosophy into their own homes. Hippo believes that environment plays a vital role in mental well-being and holistic health.

All the furniture within the space was designed by Formroom for the Hippo brand, with the core principles of relaxation, mindfulness, and contemplation in mind.  They are a reflection of the Hippo commitment to enhancing quality of life through thoughtful design, allowing everyone to create their own haven of well-being.

Below: The Dwell Chair, the Balance table, the Glade lamp and the Lunar table.

All strategy and concept visuals for our sustainable restaurant concept were designed in-house by our wonderfully talented designers and strategists, with AI only being introduced as a tool to upscale the resolution of certain images. Whilst the concept is (for the moment) just that, Formroom also has the knowledge and experience to deliver all aspects of the Hippo brand IRL. If you’re interested to learn more, please get in touch.

All IP rights in relation to the Hippo brand remain strictly the property of Formroom.

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