Host Café opens at St Luke’s, Portsmouth

We were delighted to see the first phase of our St Luke’s Church redevelopment completed, with the opening of the new Host Café last week. The redevelopment is inline with the Church’s vision ‘To become a church with visible connection and meaning to those who live, work, or study, in this community: one that is open throughout the week for everyone, whether you express a faith or not.’

The church had approached Studio BAD following the success of our St Margaret’s Church redevelopment, to help enhance the church building with the aim of transforming it into a vibrant hub for the community. As part of the wider project, we looked at major repair work to the church roof, gutters and windows and also looked at improving the engagement between the church and the community at all levels, make the physical space more welcoming and restful.

In this first phase the courtyard space, between the street and the front entrance, has been upgraded with a cost effective overhaul to deliver a vibrant and inviting space to encourage the community into, during the warmer months this space will also be used for alfresco dining for the café.

The new café is located in the church hall, offering great coffee, comfortable chairs and a warm welcome to all. The vicar, the Rev Annie McCabe, said: “Our customers include those who work in the church, students living in the blocks of flats around us, congregation members, and people from the local community. Various groups, such as the police and city council want to use the café as a base to discuss issues with local residents.” All profits raised from the café will be re-invested into the local community.

We are delighted to have helped breath new life into the building, creating a space for the whole community to enjoy and engage with. You can find out more details about Host Cafe here. 

Parklets installed in Eastleigh

Last year we worked with Eastleigh Borough Council on a feasibility study of the town centre, the council were looking at ways to invigorate the space through permanent and semi-permanent interventions which have now started to be installed across the town.

One of our key design ideas was the installation of Parklet structures. These modular seating units are designed to soften the retail street, with planting and a place for people to stop and sit. The seating encourages people to dwell and engage with the surroundings, helping to positively support the local retail and restaurant outlets by creating vibrant social gathering points.

The modular units include tiered planting and bench seating, constructed from corten steel with a wooden bench seat. The design is inspired by Eastleigh’s industrial heritage as a train hub, with the modular units taking design cues railway design.

Professional photos will be taken soon, these are quick snaps on my phone – apologise for the quality!