The MVMNT Cafe is the result of a public art collaboration between Morag Myerscough and Olympic Poet and prolific tweeter Lemn Sissay. Built in just 16 days the temporary café and performance space sits next to the DLR station in Greenwich, South East London, completed just in time for the opening of the Olympics.
Sissay was commissioned by Cathedral, the sites developers, to write a poem about Greenwich, which will eventually be set permanently into the road that cuts through the site when it is completed. In the short term, the poem, Shipping Good, is painted on the hoarding that wraps the site. One of Sissay’s tweets also inspired the form and design of the cafe structure itself:
This is the House. This is the Path. This is the Gate. This is the Opening. This is the Morning. This is a Person Passing. This is Eye Contact. Lemn Sissay, June 27th 2012
Martyn Evans, Creative Director of Cathedral Group, explains:
“We had a very small, two-week window between the end of demolition on the site and the start of the games. This space is the first thing you see as you walk off the DLR into Greenwich, so we wanted to build a welcoming place with a strong visual narrative that would reflect the originality that London is known for. We committed to the Royal Borough of Greenwich that we would make this entrance to the Borough something really special that also would give visitors a glimpse of what’s to come permanently on the site when it’s developed.”
The cafe is open 7am-7pm daily and is expected to be so for another 5 months. It is a suggestion of what will occupy the site permanently after works on the site are complete which include a bicycle cafe and repair shop, where commuters will be able to safely store their bikes and also pick up a range of organic, fair-trade, sustainable, locally-sourced food and drink.
This fun and playful design speaks positively of the new developments to come in the area, I for one hope that Studio Myerscough will also be on the design team for the permanent cafe solution. A sleek, white box just won’t seem to cut it now.
Image credits: Cafe in-the-making – Studio Myerscough, Cafe complete – Gareth Gardner