Central Kitchen

South African creative Tracy Lynch was brought in to find Central Kitchen’s true "South" and collaborated and curated a collection of functional furniture, light fittings and design solutions with more than 50 extraordinary South African designer-makers. Her vision was that every piece of functional design in Central Kitchen would be designed and handcrafted from scratch, at source by South African designer-makers to embody Nando’s intrinsic values of “pride, passion, courage, integrity and family”. Together with Anne Maclachlan they transformed the interior of the campus, which had been a series of packing warehouses and store rooms. The campus now comprises of seven interconnected buildings, it is a functional and highly productive articulation of a sophisticated, forward-thinking South African aesthetic. Doing so also created a powerful context in which to exhibit contemporary South African artworks curated by Jeanetta Blignaut of Yellowwood Arts as part of Nando’s Art Initiative. The investment has yielded a pivotal return far beyond the realisation of a remarkable and sophisticated space that is authentically and uniquely South African. It has created a momentum for Nando’s to celebrate this new way forward on a much larger scale, and to begin taking this homegrown South African aesthetic to the interiors of Nando’s restaurants, locally and internationally.

The open plan office areas which are housed in one of the original warehouse spaces needed a floor solution that was super hard wearing, that absorbed sound and that could be installed in tiles. These qualities were not negotiable. The original samples which had been sourced and presented to me were not inspiring in any way, in fact, I felt completely disillusioned. I made it my personal mission to find a carpet solution that ticked the practical boxes, but which would also enhance the aesthetic of our project. I spent a few hours online searching. Images of spaces with incredible carpets repeatedly popped up with Shaw as the supplier, what a relief it was to find that they had an agent in SA and one that speedily delivered samples to us. The result is a spectacular open plan office space which is filled with incredible art and SA designed furniture pieces, it is held by a beautiful backdrop of elegant and innovative woven tiles.


Johannesburg, South Africa

Design Firm



  • Large Office
  • Collection


    Products Used

    dye lab
    haze tile


    2015 Design Award Final Winner