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Jonathan Clark Architects

Jonathan Clark Architects

London, UK

Jonathan Clark Architects - Tinderbox - Islington

Jonathan Clark Architects

Tinderbox is a 200 sq.m espresso coffee bar on two levels situated within the N1 Centre in Islington and replaces the old Tinderbox on Upper Street.

Detail of custom-made lighting feature

Detail of custom-made lighting feature 



Entrance Stair feature lighting with timber wall cladding

Entrance Stair feature lighting with timber wall cladding 



Main counter

Main counter 



Exterior view of Cafe

Exterior view of Cafe 



Stepped seating arrangement

Stepped seating arrangement 



Double height seating area

Double height seating area 



Axometric drawing and elevation of seating booth's

Axometric drawing and elevation of seating booth's 



At ground floor level is a takeaway kiosk while at first floor is the main coffee shop.

The building works involved the complete fit-out of a 3.6m high ‘shell & core’ space that was originally intended as a crche for the N1 Centre.

Linking the kiosk to the main level is a staircase that was transformed from a dark and claustrophobic escape stairs by removing walls, cladding the walls with stained timber strips and new lighting.

One of the main concepts was to create a wide range of varying seating experiences to suit different uses – whether this be low headroom booths, a long banquette, a long communal table, raised mezzanine seating for laptop users, counter seating, raised ‘stepped seating’ and terrace seating!

Many of the light fittings were bespoke designed such as the ‘coffee cup’ shades attached to the long ceiling raft. Also the 'scattered' lampshades over the communal long table which become framed by the new plate glass window to Upper Street when viewed externally.