University of Plymouth Campus

Reservoir Café

Bridging the Threshold from inside to outside.

Project Team: Henrietta Cole, Benjamin Giles, Issy Rayner, Marcus Reid, Max Rumble, Lucas Voss


The design softens the thresholds between the interior and exterior spaces, a free-flowing plan. The concept was to use a continuous stretch of material spanning interior-exterior ground and canopy planes, creating a cohesive relationship between the spaces, making them seem as one. As the materials have a strong presence in the design, they were carefully selected ensuring they were sourced locally and had minimal to no impact on the environment.

We contrasted an industrial aesthetic with the natural environment, a design challenge very relevant in today’s world. The aim of the interior was creating 4 environments which provoke a certain type of social interaction. The waiting area is a place of meeting and viewing, a clear open space looking onto the reservoir and Gardens. The socio-fugal layout of the informal seating aims to encourage conversation between dwellers, particularly students. The formal zone focusses on the University Staff, a functional space for meetings and work. Finally, the quiet zone offers a calm and cosy area for universal use. The interior is divided by the circulation core connecting each zone with the kitchen and exterior spaces.


Project Aims
Exterior-interior relationship, public visibility

University Commercial Services Plymouth

UoP, UCSP, Students, Staff

September 2019

Design (RIBA stage 3)

Green Façade

To encourage a more student-based clientele, we focused on creating a sense of sonic and visual connections to the cafe. A new west facing green Façade, vertical louvers and informal seating face onto the public realm creating an inviting and intriguing new public space for the students of Plymouth University.

Canopy System

The canopy system follows the same structural system as a standard scaffolding frame. The scaffolding used for the design will be sourced from a local company and will be recycled. The worn and marked scaf­folding will add to the proposed rustic atmosphere. The exterior portion of the canopy (diagram number*) includes a frame consisting of louvers to provide a shelter while allowing morning sun to flow into the cafe.

Ready to start a project?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.