Design Team & Notes
Virserius Studio is an award-winning hospitality interior design firm that draws upon its multidisciplinary strengths to deliver exceptional results for clients. The last year has been marked by global success and explosive growth, including new projects in the Caribbean and Europe, and a recent award for best lobby/public area/lounge design by the International Hotel & Property Awards. Big Easy Durban Restaurant is the firm’s entry into Africa.
For Big Easy Durban Restaurant, Virserius Studio drew design inspiration from Ernie Els and his vision of what his native South Africa represents to him. Together with Big Easy’s development team and Beyond Hospitality for food & beverage, the resulting concept is a very beautiful, friendly, and open atmosphere that ensures that everyone who visits will feel comfortable.
The Big Easy Durban Restaurant includes several unique spaces, all tied together by inviting rustic elements. The warmly pigmented floor screed, wood-beamed ceilings, metal lighting and handcrafted furniture come together in rich artisanal harmony. These colors and textures are very earthy and South African, which was a fun departure from the normally bright and bold V/S aesthetic, though the firm’s penchant for creating unique design moments remains apparent throughout.
The main area comprises the open kitchen and chef’s table, which will treat guests to seeing the chef’s work in a casual and welcoming way. The bar and lounge includes Big Easy vintage wines from Ernie Els’s own vineyard, and includes a feature wall that shows him at stages of his legendary life and golf career.
A particular standout feature in the private dining room is the handcrafted backlit rope ceiling that cascades down the wall, creating an almost theatrical touch.
The outdoor dining area includes a lower and upper terrace surrounded by a lush green wall that creates an intimate connection to the immediate surroundings. The lower terrace floor is laid in porcelain made to resemble wood, but laid out asymmetrically to give texture and a subtle pattern.
The centerpiece and highlight of this communal area is the “braai” where guests can fully immerse themselves in the magic and serenity of the surrounding landscape. A few shorts steps lead to the upper terrace, where the arrangement of locally-sourced furniture and accents honor South Africa’s rich artistic heritage and abundant natural beauty.