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The Handlebar Cafe

The Handlebar Cafe

Commercial & Leisure Highly Commended 2020

Location – Winchester
Architect – ArchitecturePLB
Structrual engineer – ARUP
Main contractor – Blue Fish
Joinery – Bespoke Mpodular Developments
Wood supplier – Lathams, Accsys Technologies
Landscape services – JPS Ltd
Ground survey – Soils Ltd
Species – Accoya (New Zealand), various softwood, oak-faced ply

The Handlebar Cafe is a new community café and bike workshop created by a group of local teenagers supported by Hampshire charity SPUD. An intense two-year fundraising programme raised over £350k to build the project. The building sits on a viaduct cycle and walking path. Two train carriage like elements are linked by a glass divide. A third small building houses a cycle workshop. A profiled Accoya cladding board roots the project within its isolated setting. Bespoke, laser-cut shutter panels, depicting cogs and wheels, link the site to the existing railway line and new cycle route. Internally, a simple palette gives the building a clean aesthetic. The internal lining mimics the external form, with ply panels aligned to elongate the perspective of the building. The southern and western facades of the building are wrapped by a generous timber deck.

Watch judging tour on YouTube.