wilson holloway designs lab-like ceramic interior for london cafe

wilson holloway designs lab-like ceramic interior for london cafe

wilson holloway designs lab-like ceramic interior for london cafe
(above) the cafe is situated in london’s st paul’s district
all images courtesy of wilson holloway / by nicholas worley




wilson holloway was approached by healthy food evangelists shot to develop an experimental interior for their first cafe in st. paul’s, london. the client’s brief asked for the design to be a direct reflection of their careful scientific approach to recipe development — their menu demands that every ingredient used must offer direct health benefits. in response, the architecture firm used bespoke curved ceramics to create a continuous clinical tiled space that references victorian medical laboratories and the traditional curved ceramics of the london underground.

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
a central tiled table has integrated planting




working closely with dutch tile manufacturer d-tile, the space was designed in 3D software on a customizable 150x150mm square grid. the serving counter, menu screens, customer fridge and kitchen door were all integrated into one complex and continuous expanse of tiles. the tiles were also used to form the countertops, a central table, bar stools, external projecting signs, and even the pendant lampshades. four unique colors were developed for the stools and pendants to reflect the cafe’s branding. further, more color was added by using rubber flooring, planting, and a neon sign.

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
a seamless expanse of tiles is used to incorporate different elements




the table was designed with integrated planters to house herbs and chilis to emphasise the transparency of the food produce on offer. the solid walnut bench tops were formed using a flatbed CNC machine to mimic the grout lines and bevelled edges of the tiles. sitting between a micro-gin distillery and an independent tailor, the exterior of the shop was simplified and painted white to give it a distinctive street presence on this characterful london lane.

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
colorful stools, lampshades, neon, and flooring break up the expanse of white




‘at the heart of our work is a desire to create visually striking projects. the difficulty in this instance was designing something distinctive yet functional in such a small space. our aim was to create an intricate interior that reflects the high level of detail our clients put into their product. the gentle radial curves, coupled with the strict grid of the grout lines, come together to give a distinct order to the space,’ comments alex holloway, director at wilson holloway.

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
bespoke ceramic lampshades were formed using the same tiles

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
CNC engineered walnut benches mimic the curves and grout lines of the tiles

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
the colorful products and juices standout against the white backdrop

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
the colors of the tiles correspond with the cafe’s branding

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
different elements emerge out of the tiled expanse

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
the door to the staff areas is partially disguised

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
the project is situated on bride lane in the city of london

wilson holloway shot london cafe designboom
3D perspective diagram of the tile setting out



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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