The Weir Cafe

Rotherham, UK

We were selected, following a first stage competitive interview, as one of three teams to produce a stage D design for a new-build cafe / restaurant on the river Don.

The cafe is part of a multi-million pound regeneration scheme planned for Rotherham, and the Weirside area within which the cafe is located, is the first phase of this. The landscape scheme for the Weirside is being lead by EDAW and the first phase of building designed by Glen Howells is underway.

Our proposal embraces the site’s advantageous weirside position whilst dealing with a substantial change in level between the pavement and the river. The two level cafe ramps down towards the river and weir. The building also acts as an aperture, framing views of the weir from the cafe’s entrance.

Our proposal takes its material inspiration from the jewel-like quality of the stained glass windows in All Saints Rotherham. The filigree lead work and delicately coloured panes of glass look magnificent inside the church during the day when they are illuminated with sun light.

We were inspired by the colourful patterns of light cast onto the walls and floor of the church. We explored creating roof lights, which would cast patterns of light onto the cafe floor – a modern interpretation of stained glass.