Frank’s cafe

Location: Southwark, London
Type: Temporary Washrooms
Client: Frank’s Cafe
Collaborators: Footprint Scenery, Bold Tendencies, Natural Event
Duration: 2018
Status: Completed

We were commissioned by Frank’s Café and Bold Tendencies to design temporary washroom facilities for their rooftop multi-storey car park arts venue in Peckham. The project explored creative material re-use in the design and construction, alongside efficient integration of a no-plumbing, environmental waste system.

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Our design simplified an overly complicated and oppressive layout to one that was open, easy to navigate and enabling better management. The unified volume comprises two parallel rows of raised cubicles and urinals around a central access space, framing a view towards Peckham Rye Park. Access to wheelchair accessible facilities and storage for ancillary equipment forms the rest of the volume on either side of the cubicles, providing symmetry and referencing the modernist car park structure.

We designed a simple timber frame structure with stained Douglas Fir plywood lining the spaces on the inside of the volume with opaque tri-wall polycarbonate roofs for natural lighting. Scaffold boards from previous structures on site were recycled and reused as cladding, preserving an established dialogue with the neighbouring Derek Jarman garden and site as a whole. 30mm gaps between boards provided screening and ventilation whilst alluding to the strong lines and joints of the systemised car park structure.

We worked to a low budget and a quick turnaround from design to completion to meet key programme dates for the venue. The project was planned to precede a large-scale redesign of the site and the structure’s eventual lifespan was significantly longer than planned.