DODDERWAY CYCLE CAFE
Ambling along the new Dodder Greenway the cyclist ‘discovers’ a new cafe set back from the street in a gap between a stand of mature poplar trees on the river bank. The building is uncomplicated rectangular form of modest scale with a copper roof supported by an exposed grid of lime washed timber portal frames with glass and light brick infill.
The cafe and a bike mechanic’s kiosk enclose a generous forecourt providing ample space for cycle parking or tinkering with bikes, a place to sit awhile or to visit the cafe, to rest in the garden or pause before moving onward to the sea or mountains.
The entrance to the cafe is marked by a magestic London Plane aligned with the river weir, an oblique reference to the old river ford/crossing point. Inside the visitor arrives in the tall brightly lit cafe space with full height glazed walls overlooking the river and the distant mountains beyond. On sunny days dynamic shadows of a spoked bicycle wheel cast by the overhead lantern light seem to whirr across the cafe floor.
On warmer days visitor animate the outdoor covered terrace, an energized and active space alive with the chatter of conversation, the colours and scents of riverside flora, perhaps enlivened by sightings of Kingfishers, otters or jumping trout.
Unrealised – 2018 Competition