Café-cum-bar at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London, is committed to promoting and supporting artists
Adding new layers of reclaimed materials, texture, pattern, plants and colour, Morag Myerscough has created a vibrant, welcoming and joyful ‘destination’ café and bar at the heart of the Bernie Grant Arts Centre. The first phase of a long-term, artistled refurbishment programme of this landmark arts centre in the heart of the Tottenham Green Conservation Area in Haringey, is now complete.
With contributions from artists Yemi Awosile and Luke Morgan, the transformed spaces embody the venue’s commitment to promoting and supporting artists and connecting them in a direct conversation with local residents, audiences, and visitors. Luke Morgan has designed and made the dining tables with painted tops by Morag, while Yemi has been working on the seating in the gallery area.
The Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, London, first opened to the public in Autumn 2007 and bears the name of Tottenham’s late legendary black MP Bernie Grant (1944 - 2000), whose vision for a fairer Britain and a fairer world inspired him to embark on creating the complex. Bernie was a huge supporter of the arts, recognising the critical role that they could play in tackling structural inequality and promoting positive social change. With its 20 creative workspaces and extensive rehearsal rooms, the centre today supports
diverse artists and creative industries living and working in Tottenham.
Building on the concrete and hard wood materiality of the Bernie Grants Arts Centre designed by renowned Ghanaian British architect Sir David Adjaye 10 years ago, Morag has introduced new layers of texture and colour to invigorate the space by using reclaimed materials, bespoke textiles, ceramic tiles, new furniture, houseplants and adding colour to the walls. Morag has also created additional spaces for artists to add their own layers and textures as part of a planned commissioning programme over the next few years.
All the original built-in furniture, for example, the café bar is constructed from cast concrete. The bar is now re-clad in a rich warm Iroko wood that complements and enhances the original internal Purpleheart wood cladding. The re-purposed furniture brings the domestic and familiar to this grand space and the large tables encourage conversation between visitors.
Pete Courtie, CEO, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, said, “Morag, Yemi, and Luke have created an incredibly warm and welcoming café and bar space that audiences and visitors will want to return to and discover something new…a place to connect with each other, to experience a performance or exhibition or simply to relax and enjoy some of the finest home cooked Caribbean food and craft beer, in London.”
Fact File Project: Café/bar redesign Designer: Morag Myerscough with contributions
by Luke Morgan and Yemi Awosile Photos: Gareth Gardener