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why fuse? A hands-on approach with Director involvement from start to finish of every project The world has changed since the global financial crisis of 2007/8 and Clients are looking for consultants whose principals are genuinely hands-on. They need designers to be able to react quickly and want their design fees to pay for high quality service, not huge overheads. Fuse was established in 2010 to meet those needs: with studios in Manchester and Leeds providing a balanced skill set of Interior Design and Architecture expertise. Led by four Directors, with a combined experience of over 70 years in the industry, they previously managed teams within one of the UK’s largest design consultancies. As such, the Directors have proven experience delivering across most market sectors: from small, beautifully-crafted restaurant projects, to new corporate headquarters or the designing of large regenerative masterplans.

At Fuse we are committed to providing exemplary Client service and one of our Directors Simon Clarke, Mike Harris, David Matthews and Scott Ryalls is involved on every project, from concept to completion. Working with Clients in multiple time zones over many years has taught us that always being available is one of the most valuable services we can provide to a Client. In construction, delays cost money and when we claim to be “an agile and responsive team,” we mean to be just that. We strongly believe in working collaboratively and positively with our Clients and we know how to successfully manage design teams to deliver within cost and time parameters.

We also take our commitment to the environment seriously. Our team has been working on BREEAM Excellent rated buildings since the 1990’s and our interiors projects have won praise for their practical application of sustainability principles. Fuse holds joint accreditation under ISO:9001 and ISO:14001, Quality Assurance and Environmental Management systems respectively.

photograph © Copyright careyjones

who we are A small design studio providing huge experience with enthusiasm and genuine expertise Fuse has the skills and experience to look after any part of your project. Whether it is the refurbishment of existing office space or the roll-out of an established restaurant brand, the team has all the necessary experience to ensure success. We work for global players Hard Rock International and SMG Europe, for UK developers such as ASK Developments and Commercial Estates Group and for institutions like the University of Leeds.

We provide the experience of designing and delivering projects in the UK, Middle East, USA and across Continental Europe.

Green indicates countries where projects have been designed by one of the Fuse directors

we’re different

Leisure – hospitality, entertainment and gaming When Fuse was formed, we brought together a group of talented individuals: architects and interior designers with a proven track record in leisure design: from individual restaurants to complex mixed leisure developments extending to millions of square feet. We do not have separate architectural and interiors teams, the two disciplines work together – all of the time. We are therefore able to design the building shell as well as the interior fit-out and there are huge benefits to Clients of having both carried out under the same roof. That said, we work extensively with other architects and interior designers and so can also provide architectural or interior design services on a stand alone basis. Our interior designers have exemplary space planning skills so they are able to make a significant contribution to design quality from the outset of our leisure projects Our Clients can be assured that their venue will not only be visually stunning but also planned to be as operationally efficient as possible - and cost-effective to build. Our team also has huge experience in the design of all manner of leisure and hospitality venues – from bars and nightclubs through casinos to major entertainment and live music venues. We also work with a wonderful group of partner engineers, architects, surveyors and project managers throughout Europe and can arrange project delivery in French, Flemish, Dutch, German, Catalan, Spanish and Italian within our existing professional network.

This brochure illustrates some of the projects that the Fuse team has completed in recent years. Because Fuse is a relatively new practice, some of these were undertaken when our team members were with previous practices but we will continue to update with new Fuse projects as they complete.

what we do We create venues that work at every level – cost effective, operationally efficient, visually spectacular Entertainment & Live Music

Restaurant Design

Only one design company can boast three of the world’s most respected live music companies among their past and present Clients. The Fuse team has worked for Anschutz Entertainment Group (owners of the Staples Arena in Los Angeles and the Nokia Club in New York), SMG Europe (owners of the MEN in Manchester and First Direct Arena in Leeds) and Hard Rock International (owners of 140 Hard Rock Cafes across the globe, which host thousands of live music events each year). When it comes to live music, we are experts.

Of course, we design restaurants as part of larger leisure projects but we have also developed an international reputation as restaurant designers. Our team has worked for celebrity chefs on both sides of the Atlantic and Fuse is presently working on restaurant projects in no less than seven European countries.

Leisure Masterplanning Few design companies can boast equal skills in large development masterplanning and leisure design, alongside a proven track record of combining both skills on substantial international leisure destinations. Fuse is one such company.

Nightclubs & Bars From small, intimate venues to multi-scene nightclubs with capacities of over 3,000, the Fuse team has done it all. We have completed dozens of nightclub projects, many of them award-winners.

Casino Gaming Fuse boasts the only UK-based casino interiors team that has successfully completed major casino projects in the United States. In fact, we have worked upon some of the world’s largest casino projects. We have a wealth of specialist gaming knowledge including licensing, equipment, surveillance, data systems, fire safety and so on. We are also experienced in supporting operators in competitive license bids and recently were part of a team that won with two such applications in the UK. We are now designing two new large casinos as a result.

Health & Fitness Having designed dozens of health clubs and spas for industry leaders such as Virgin and Esporta, our designers have a wealth of specialist experience.

Opened in June 2011 on the 40th Anniversary of the opening of the very first Hard Rock CafÊ in London, the Fuse-designed Hard Rock CafÊ in the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, has rapidly become one of Italy’s busiest and most popular live music venues; with more than 120,000 Facebook fans. Located within the former Cinema Gambrinus building in the corner of this iconic square, the venue has re-used many of the existing architectural features of the original building but incorporates significantly improved acoustics. Fuse worked closely with the Commune di Firenze Heritage Department to agree the details of this very sensitive restoration project. The continuation of entertainment provision at the site was central to negotiating the building permits for the venue. The opening of the venue was marked with a huge free concert in the Piazza by Simple Minds, attended by 20,000 enthusiastic Florentines.

live music

Fuse was appointed in 2010 by SMG Europe to design a refurbishment of the then vacant Barbican Centre in York: the landmark building had lain empty since it closed its doors in 2004. Following the refurbishment works, York Barbican Box Office opened again in May 2011. The refurbished venue now offers a diverse programme of music and non-music events taking advantage of the venue’s 1500 seated and 1900 standing capacities. The venue now hosts comedy shows and a range of music, family and community events. The UK Snooker Championships also returned to the Barbican in December 2011.


live music © copyright careyjones

Designed by a careyjones team led by David Matthews, IndigO2 is the state-of-the-art live music venue within The O2 Arena in London. IndigO2 stages concerts in its own right but is also used for more intimate late night performances by artists who have already played earlier in the much larger O2 Arena. Since its opening in June 2007, it has played host to Prince, Amy Winehouse, Manic Street Preachers and James Blunt. The purpose-built auditorium features near-perfect acoustics, faultless sightlines and state-of-the-art JBL sound system for its audience capacity of 2,350. The design of IndigO2 provides different styles of entertainment over its three levels. The ground floor offers an open standing area for dancing, while the upper level features a fullseated tiered ‘bleacher’ style amphitheatre. Located between these two areas is the exclusive ‘Kings Row’ which provides waiter-serviced fine dining within the auditorium and a spacious adjoining VIP bar area which can be used for private functions.

The Fuse team was responsible for the highly cost effective design of the Public Concourse Bar, the VIP Premier Lounge and 24 Hospitality Suites in the newly opened First Direct Arena in Leeds. Conceptual design began in November 2012 and the works were carried out between April and June 2013. The total cost of the fit-out was just £840,000 – around £34/sqft. The Concourse Lounge bar extends to 4,100 sqft and provides seating for over 150 people and standing room for many more. Timber strips and pressed metal tiles have been used to create variety of finish and texture in the one area that remains visible even when the venue is crowded – the ceilings. By contrast, the floor has been left unfinished as power floated concrete with only occasional oriental rugs added to provide some interest. The space is dominated by the very eclectic collection of furniture, procured from auctions, clearance warehouses and even Ebay.

live music

© copyright careyjones

Kings Row VIP Lounge at IndigO2 at the O2 Arena, Greenwich, London

A unique feature of the design for the IndigO2 Live Music Club is the ‘Kings Row’ level, where audience members are able to enjoy a la carte dining whilst watching the concerts. Kings Row is also linked to an exclusive VIP lounge (pictured here) which can be hired for private functions.

masterplanning Members of the Fuse team have masterplanned substantial leisure destinations as far afield as Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Russia, as well as in the UK. Currently the team is masterplanning a new leisure development of over 1m sqft in Eastern Europe. Our principals have an unrivalled understanding of the synergies between different venue types, leisure demographics, visitor retention and dwell times. This specialist knowledge, combined with our more general masterplanning skills gained from designing large mixed-use developments, means that Fuse is uniquely well placed to provide strategic guidance for the most complex leisure proposals.

Currently on the drawing board is one of Fuse’s largest and most exciting projects to date – the masterplanning and architectural design of a contemporary, 600 key, £170m resort hotel complex in Eastern Europe. The Fuse team is using its leisure masterplanning experience to create an amazing project which will be complete with spa, convention centre, theatre, marina and a host of other facilities. The scheme includes the re-use of an internationally significant existing building and when complete, will be a major catalyst for the regeneration and tourism for one of Europe’s best known leisure destinations. Given its significance, the project has a number of development milestones to achieve and the first of a series of statutory approvals was recently achieved. The project should soon enter the public domain….


Š copyright careyjones & M2R Architecture

Indoor Ski Slope, Olympic Ski Jump Training and Indoor Water Park Complex, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Fuse principal David Matthews led a careyjones team that developed this competition scheme for an indoor ski slope and water park on the banks of the River Volga, six hours drive East of Moscow, Russia. The scheme was a joint venture with EDSA from Florida (water park specialists) M2R Architecture (ski jump designers) and Acer Snowmec (indoor snow engineers).

All photos this page Š copyright careyjones

A large casino can be as complex as a major hospital. Security and surveillance, CCTV, cash handling, sophisticated HVAC and data systems must all be integrated alongside gaming areas and multiple food and beverage outlets, whilst maintaining separation between customer and staff circulation routes. It is a building type that requires extensive design expertise. Fuse is one of the very few European design firms with the necessary experience and knowledge.

On this page: Isle Casino at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry (the UK’s largest casino), Isle Casino, Waterloo, Iowa, and Pompano Park Casino and Racing, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA


casinos Š copyright careyjones

The Fuse team is the only British interior designer group to have completed major casino projects in the USA. Our designers have worked in half a dozen US states. Probably the most challenging was the Pompano Park Casino in Fort Lauderdale. The $184 million fit-out was designed, built, fitted out, commissioned and opened to the public in under 15 months. This meant completing more than $1m worth of construction work on site each and every day for six months. Above and top-right: space planning exercises for a new 750 bedroom casino resort on the Gulf of Mexico coast East of New Orleans. Right and far right: space plan and gaming pit design exercises for a substantial extension to the Isle Casino at Biloxi, Mississippi to replace the casino barge that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Š copyright careyjones

Š copyright careyjones

Isle Casino and Racing at Pompano Park, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Pompano Park Casino extends to 155,000 square feet over two levels. It provides 4 restaurants, 6 bars, 1,500 slot machines and 30 poker tables, as well as trackside grandstand and betting for the harness racing track which it overlooks. David Matthews and Scott Ryalls led the large interior design team that produced nearly 1000 construction drawings required to detail this enormous project in only 5 months.

The Fuse team has an enormous amount of experience in restaurant design. Our designers have worked for celebrity chefs (Wolfgang Puck, Luke Palladino and Gary Rhodes) and global restaurant operators such as Hard Rock International. We have worked throughout the UK, across Europe and extensively in the United States. We have worked with food service consultants as far afield as Florida and New York and have a deep understanding of food handling and storage, kitchen design, customer flows, lighting, acoustics and all other aspects of this highly specialised area. We are genuine experts in restaurant design.

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Left: The Bargozzo Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Below: Fazenda Restaurant, Leeds Right: The Cocina Restaurant at the Casa Hotel, Chesterfield


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restaurants We have completed all manner of food and beverage projects: from self-service buffet restaurants to high-end fine dining establishments, with budgets from £250,000 to £7.5m. As well as its work in the UK, Fuse has completed new restaurant and remodeling projects in Italy, France, Belgium and Spain. The practice is currently working on further schemes across Europe.

Due to the fundamental importance of lighting to the success of all dining areas, Fuse can provide lighting design as part of its services for all its food and beverage projects; which allow us to deliver the ambience exactly as conceived in the original design concept. Above: Hard Rock Café, Brussels, complete 2012 Right: Hard Rock Café, Florence, complete 2011 Left: Schematic layouts for a new UK restaurant concept

Hard Rock CafĂŠ, Piazza della Repubblica, Florence, Italy

The conversion of the derelict former cinema building was the subject of extensive negotiations with the Commune di Firenze Heritage Department. A number of original features of the building were rescued and re-used on the new scheme. We were even able to re-open an ancient license to extract ground water from an old well and use this to provide cooling to the kitchen refrigeration and air conditioning systems, resulting in huge savings in energy consumption.

The Fuse team has decades of experience in the design of clubs and bars. The team members have designed nightclub venues in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Brighton, Croydon, Sheffield, Enfield, Derby, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham, Blackpool and in many other locations within the UK for operators including First Leisure Corporation and Luminar Leisure. Licensed capacities have varied from just a few hundred through to more than three thousand people. Our designers have a thorough knowledge of licensing procedures, audio visual installations, acoustics, fire safety and means of escape for large capacity venues, along with all the other factors that combine to make a successful late night entertainment venue.

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© Copyright careyjones © copyright careyjones

Innovative and awardwinning new use for landmark historic building

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Liquid and Envy is the result of a £5 million conversion of a Grade II listed former Army Drill Hall in Portsmouth. The twin-scene nightclub combines a contemporary interior with a sensitive restoration of the historic shell; such that the nightclub use is all but invisible within the town outside operating hours. The scheme was awarded the ‘2007 Best Reuse of a Historic Building’ by the Portsmouth Society and resulted in David Matthew’s team being nominated as ‘Interior Designer of the Year’ in the 2007 BEDA Awards.

Health and fitness clubs have become a permanent fixture in the leisure sector. Fuse has enormous experience in this specialised area. The projects on this page are part of David Matthews’ extensive portfolio in the sector.

Š Copyright careyjones

Below left: Esporta Health and Fitness Clubs at Edinburgh and Chiswick Park, London. David also completed Esporta projects, ranging in size from 25,000sqft to 140,000sqft in Wolverhampton, Sheffield, Leeds, Hamilton, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Top right (both): The Dougalston Tennis and Golf Club at Milngavie, North of Glasgow. Below right: The Virgin Living River Therapies Spa in Oxford Street, London.


David Matthews

Director David has specialised in leisure design since his qualification in the 1980’s. He has designed dozens of nightclubs across the UK since his first club project in 1990 and is one of the few designers to have been awarded a BEDA Award for his work in the sector.

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He also designed many of the Esporta Health and Fitness Club chain, including three 100,000+ sqft tennis clubs and he led the team that designed and delivered the famous IndigO2 Live Music Club at the O2 Arena in London.

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David has worked on both sides of the Atlantic for the last 9 years, completing several major casino projects in the USA. David has led the Fuse teams delivering Hard Rock Cafes in Florence, Brussels and Barcelona. Currenly he is working on further Hard Rock projects across Europe and two major casino schemes in the UK.

© Copyright careyjones

© Copyright careyjones

Scott Ryalls

Director Scott has been responsible for an impressive list of leisure and hospitality projects during his career. He has developed a particular expertise in the design of large and complex casino projects, having spent many months in the USA working on substantial projects in Florida and Mississippi as well as acting as lead designer on the Isle Casino at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry – the UK’s largest casino.

© Copyright careyjones

© Copyright careyjones © Copyright careyjones

He has also designed a string of successful bars, clubs and restaurants including the new Fazenda restaurant in Leeds and the Cocina Restaurant at the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield. Following the completion of Hard Rock Cafés in Barcelona and Brussels, Scott is now overseeing the delivery of further cafes in France. Scott also led the Fuse team’s recent design of the VIP areas and corporate suites as the new First Direct Arena in Leeds.

© Copyright careyjones

© Copyright careyjones

Fuse Studios Limited: Calls Wharf, 2 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7JU and Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BH.

Fuse Sector Focus - Leisure  

An insight into our work in the leisure sector including live music venues, restaurants, casinos, spas, health clubs, nightclubs and bars

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