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Common Ground Workshop

Common Ground Workshop

London, United Kingdom

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Common Ground Workshop - Trade Spitalfields

Common Ground Workshop

We were commissioned to design a restaurant / coffee shop in the prominent & busy Commercial Street.

Display counter highlighted by the amazing home made food

Display counter highlighted by the amazing home made food 



Lighting detail

Lighting detail 



Preparation and product display area

Preparation and product display area 



Servery bar within the dining space

Servery bar within the dining space 



Main display counter

Main display counter 



View back to the front of the shop from the dining space

View back to the front of the shop from the dining space 



View into Trade from Commercial Street

View into Trade from Commercial Street 



View to the outdoor terrace from the dining area 2

View to the outdoor terrace from the dining area 2 



We were commissioned in May 2013 to design a restaurant / coffee shop in the prominent & busy Commercial Street, just two minutes away from trendy Spitalfields Market. Due to the rich commercial heritage of the area the clients quite suitably named the shop ‘Trade’.

The existing run-down space went through a number of modelling changes, with new staircase location, new large opening to the back wall to get natural light in, a complete re-organisation of basement and most importantly the interior fit-out to create a completely new feel of the shop. We wanted to achieve a warm and materially expressive interior and to break away from the shabby chic norm while still exploiting the interiors existing brickwork and timber floors.

Coffee and home-made food are the pride of the ‘Trade’ offer and therefore the beautiful coffee machine and lovingly prepared food are found in the most prominent position of the shop. The main counter was envisaged as a long linear element connecting three distinctive spaces, display, preparation and seating, at the ground floor with slight geometrical twists to accommodate the most practical use of patrons and staff. The material palette consists of warm elements like timber, plywood and brick, while copper tubes are introduced as the signature feature of ‘Trade’. Copper is applied to the bar fascia, staircase balustrade, handrails and suspended lighting conduits creating an interesting mood in the shop while forming muted reflections and intricate shadows.