University of the Arts London (UAL) is investing in a major re-development of Camberwell College of Arts, upgrading the college’s facilities including the creation of larger studios and teaching spaces, a new lecture theatre, gallery, and fully accessible entrance, as well as on-site student accommodation.
In order to create these brand new facilities, the existing workshop block and canteen were cleared, and a temporary coffee bar was put into place, opening in September 2015. The design of this pop-up space will act as a prototype for the new catering facilities that will be created once the redevelopment of the college is completed in 2017.
As part of this exciting project, the University teamed up with Jan Hendzel Studio, a furniture design company operated by UAL alumni who worked alongside the University Estates' Retail and Catering team to develop a fantastic environment reflecting the Universities’ growing approach to sustainability.
Jan Hendzel Studio were charged with developing the furniture segment of the design, with a view to creating a bespoke suite consisting of benches, tables, stools and stackable chairs. All these furniture items incorporate sustainable design and construction practices, using a combination of both locally-sourced reclaimed wood from within 35 miles of the assembly site and Forest Steward Commission (FSC) approved wood for their construction in its entirety.
This project was inspired by a previous cross-UAL project run by the London College of Communications research group Conscientious Communicators, entitled Waste Off, where teams from different UAL colleges were pitted against one another in a challenge to give everyday waste new value. Teams comprised of academic, technical, facilities and strategic development staff and students that all came together to collect material waste and share their collaborative inventions.
The overall theme of the Camberwell cafe interior makes reference to the 1970s heritage of the iconic Brutalist-style building in which it is situated, built last time Camberwell College of Arts’ underwent a major capital investment programme, whilst at the same time taking a modern approach to sustainability and the environment.
The Coffee Bar is the first stage of the project positioned in what was the college’s reception and gallery space, with the second phase being the relocation, expansion and evolution into the new Camberwell canteen to be situated in the brand new Academic Extension building, scheduled to open in 2017.
As part of University’s commitment to student participation and engagement, students from Camberwell’s MA Designer Maker course were given the opportunity to be involved with Jan Hendzel Studio’s design and construction of the furniture.
Retail and Catering also sponsored an exciting competition with Camberwell’s FdA Illustration and Graphic Design courses to develop a mural for the corridor entrance leading into the Coffee Bar. Students worked in small teams to develop concepts and pitched them to a board of judges in December 2015. With the winning design selected, work will begin on the mural in Spring 2016.