SHH has completed a fast-turnaround transformation of The Media Café at the National Media Museum in Bradford for Levy Restaurants, the sports and leisure division of Compass UK & Ireland, creating a cool, crisp and contemporary refurbished canteen space with playful, integrated film and television references, ranging from classic black-and-white photography to a screen made of aged film canisters and a vintage TV set used to display menus.
The brief for the revamped space was to widen the scope of the dining experience, with an accent on fresh produce and freshly-prepared food, to help drive longer opening hours, with the café now remaining open later into the evening to service cinema-goers, in addition to the daytime museum visitor audience.
The Media Café is located next to the Museum shop and close to the main entrance and is therefore perfectly positioned to attract casual visitors. Whilst there was no increase in overall floor space from the existing café, SHH re-arranged the space plan to create newly-differentiated dining and seating zones. Structurally, the back wall of the servery was punched through, creating a sense of theatre. The area was then clad floor to ceiling, in crisp white tiling for a canteen feel, with new integrated metal shelving.
For the food display, existing servery units were reconfigured and re-conditioned, with a white Corian exterior and timber butchers' block tops. Menus are hung from a steel multi-deck display shelving, stacked with food and condiments. Fresh vegetables are displayed in timber crates in a special unit below. An inset wall screen plays old black and white movies to provide interest for customers whilst queuing or dining. Five new brown glass ‘Soren' pendant lights (with energy-efficient Plumen bulbs) are suspended on bent, galvanised metal arms.
The dining area features existing loose furniture (simple, laminate-top tables and light zebrano timber veneer chairs), and a new wall of bespoke banquette seating, made from the same biscuit-jointed solid timber as previously-used for the servery tops. The upholstery is from Kvadrat in alternating blocks of burnt orange and chocolate brown, matching the four new sofas in the more relaxed café zone and the eight high-backed chairs from Hay (called ‘About a Lounge Chair'), which sit alongside marble-topped ‘Screw' tables and upholstered stools from Tom Dixon.