architect: Studio Myerscough
location: London, United Kingdom
Café, theatre, local landmark, meeting place and poem – the Movement Café in Greenwich is all of this and more.
The café turned a hole in the ground left by demolition into a fabulous community space run by the not-for-profit Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency which has hosted poetry readings, acoustic performances and a pop-up cinema.
The Movement Café is a new temporary café next to the DLR station in Greenwich, South East London, designed by Morag Myerscough. Built from scratch in just sixteen days to coincide with the opening of The Olympics, The Movement Café is an explosion of colour and type and sits at the centre of an amphitheatre-like space created from the natural level of the site, post-demolition. It’s the result of a public art collaboration between Myerscough and poet and prolific tweeter Lemn Sissay. Myerscough chose this tweet: Lemn Sissay, June 27th 2012
THIS IS THE HOUSE.
THIS IS THE PATH.
THIS IS THE GATE.
THIS IS THE OPENING.
THIS IS THE MORNING.
As there was such a short build time, the solution was to use existing shipping containers. Then the work started cutting holes into the containers, attaching hand painted geometric exterior plywood cladding. The structure is crowned with a tower of scaffolding to hold the words from the tweet with an illuminated ‘M’ and a wind sock. The words from the tweet were painted by hand on large wooden panels, positioned over the core structure of the building which is covered in an original hand-painted Myerscough multi-coloured geometric pattern. All furniture is designed and made by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan from reclaimed laboratory tops. Cushions are hand sewn from kite fabric.
The outdoor amphitheatre seating area built from scaffolding and scaffolding boards accessible by a ramp and surrounded by planting provides a lovely, contemplative, sheltered place of respite for commuters and visitors to Greenwich and several times a week plays host to storytelling, poetry reading and acoustic performances.