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Spiral Cafe, UK

Marks Barfield Architects

Located in St Martin’s Square, the new public square and centrepiece of Birmingham’s new Bullring development, the Spiral Café is a distinctive shell-like enclosure inspired by the Fibonacci principles of growth in Nature. It unites the timeless principles of geometry with modern construction techniques and is the result of extremely close and continuous collaboration between the client, architects, engineers and fabricators.

The Café is formed by 8 curved structural ribs which enclose the seating and servery space. A frame attached to these ribs forms a rear annex for storage. The ribs pass beneath the level of the floor, into a glazed pit which contains feature lighting. The ribs emerge from this pit to form the bar separating the servery from the public space of the café.

The superstructure of the café is painted plasma cut MS plate connected by CHS MS sections for lateral support. This is skinned with a plywood timber decking using a warm roof construction, and clad externally entirely with post-patinated copper on continuous hermetic self adhesive WPM. Internally lacquer finished bronze panels clad between the ribs with an SS capping piece along each rib line. Once in position the café was clad in a relatively traditional manner.

After the external copper work had been completed, an artist specialising in patination was commissioned to apply a coloured finish to the external cladding, resulting in a rich, textured and durable exterior. The front of the bar is also clad in copper to match the external skin.

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Building

Owner: 
Hammerson UK Properties plc
Completion date: 
2004
Country: 
United Kingdom
City: 
Birmingham
Street: 
St Martin's Square

Categories

Applications: 
Facades
Interior
Roofs
Type of building: 
Restaurants
Copper used: 
Classic
Bronze
Estate: 
New

Architect

Name, office: 
Marks Barfield Architects
Address & description: 
50 Bromell’s Road, London SW4 OBG

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Nick Hay

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