A collaborative and versatile university fit out

The student cafeteria in the Chancellor’s Building at Keele University was in need of an uplifting upgrade. This resulted in the creation of a modern, flexible space, providing the perfect environment for collaboration, socialising and large-scale events.

Key features

  • Bespoke timber ceiling rafts
  • Pendant lighting
  • Café-style student space
  • Rust-style stone tiling

Project description

The aftermath of the pandemic inspired Keele University to refresh the student experience on campus. Our long-standing relationship gave us a head start in terms of what the re-imagined refectory should deliver.

When we were introduced to the space, it was a traditional cafeteria with lots of seating and mobile serving units. It was a great opportunity to create a versatile and stylish student hub to support a variety of functions, attract new students to the university and improve the overall everyday campus experience.

A fresh take for freshers week

An important element to the project was to ensure the space was able to host large-scale conferences, exhibitions, networking events, freshers’ week and open days.

We designed and installed special floor-to-ceiling metal rods which integrate power and data cables allowing all the free-standing stalls to access all of the extraordinary technology. Wall-mounted screens and multiple power outlets provide essential connectivity for the busy student hub.

Relaxed and modern design

The design, choice of materials and high quality finishes played an important role in the overall refurbishment.

We left services exposed for a fresh, industrial feel, staggering the heights of the bespoke timber ceiling rafts. A natural feel runs throughout with rust-style stone tiling to enhance the contemporary appearance and atmosphere. Pendant lighting creates different areas, each with a distinctive feel.

The varied seating supports this modern, café-style student space. Traditional chairs and tables combine with more relaxed sofas for sociable eating and drinking.

Remove, refit and rewire

The removal of a 15m wall to open up the circulation flow was a significant structural change which was challenging considering the building was still accessible to students during our 11 weeks onsite.

We stripped out and replaced the commercial kitchen area and servery, installing an extensive electrical infrastructure, creating an attractive and fully functioning space.

The future is here

The University of Keele project has successfully transformed a tired student cafeteria into a contemporary and flexible area which will be enjoyed by students for many years to come.

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