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Practice Architecture unveils Peckham rooftop cafe and auditorium

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Up-and-coming studio Practice Architecture has completed this temporary café and auditorium to accompany a sculpture exhibition in Peckham, south London

Built from second-hand scaffolding boards and a truck tarpaulin, the restaurant and bar venue is part of the Bold Tendencies art exhibition organised by Peckham-based Hannah Barry Gallery.

The show transforms the top four storey’s of a disused multi-storey car park into a sculpture park, offering visitors dramatic views across the capital. Now in its fifth year, Bold Tendencies’ architectural commissions have extended to include a performance space and entrance kiosk.

Practice Architecture – which has built the roof top venue Frank’s Café and Campari Bar, for the past three years – was appointed to design the performance space, sited between the concrete slabs of car park levels seven and eight, and the kiosk.

Describing the theatre which is made from brass, gold and straw bales, Paloma Gormley of the studio said: ‘The design was driven by the qualitative sense of space that we worked to get in there.

‘It was really horrible in there but we worked to make something that felt enclosed and warm’.

Frank’s Café was also extended this year to include three more bay’s along with a new store room, water tower, office and larger lavatories.

An a-frame was introduced for ‘structural purposes’ according to the designer. The structural engineer was Price & Myers.

‘I think there’s something exciting for people about its simplicity,’ said Gormley, describing the café. She added: ‘Mainly because of the view and location you could have stuck anything up here and it would have been successful’.

Practice Architecture’s trio of designers Lettice Drake, Paloma Gormley and Henry Stringer – who graduated from the Cambridge University architecture school in 2008 – are planning to study at London Metropolitan University for their Part IIs in the next academic year.

The exhibition runs until 30 September 2011.


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