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Café Royale

Client: Royal College of Art
Location: Battersea, London
Status: Completed 2012
Architects: Weston Surman & Deane Architecture
Contractor: Weston Surman & Deane Architecture
Photography: Wai Ming Ng
Team: Joseph Deane, Tom Surman, Percy Weston

This project – completed in collaboration with Joseph Deane – was commissioned by the Royal College of Art, who briefed us to design and build a new Student Union café for its expanding Battersea campus. The café was originally positioned in a poorly located and underused out-of-the-way space. The scheme relocates the café to the heart of the sculpture department, providing a much needed social core.

The design is conceived as a warm timber box within a stark concrete and steel shell. Operating within a tight budget, reclaimed materials were used extensively, from the service counter to flooring and furniture. Great care was taken to refine the reclaimed elements to elevate them into objects of almost unexpected delicacy and beauty.

The playful shutters and festoon lighting help to imbue a sense light-heartedness and theatre into the space – befitting of the Sculpture department that surrounds it.

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