Café-cum-bar at Bernie Grant Arts Cen­tre, Lon­don, is com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing and sup­port­ing artists

MGS Architecture - - Restaurant Design & Lighting -

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

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