A pop up café with an innovative origin is proving a real winner at Battersea Studios, London, by freeing up valuable commercial space for future rental.

Home to some of the UK’s most creative businesses, Battersea Studio’s owners were keen to make the most of every square foot of the iconic building at Silverthorne Road, Battersea. So London based architects Barr Gazetas commissioned us to help bring their innovative solution to life. We supplied two modified shipping containers as the basis for the pop up café, so the former cafeteria space in the main building can be redeveloped for additional rentable space.

The containers were designed and supplied together with the access stairs and mezzanine platform, and roof structure with letter ‘B’ sign that sits on top of the overall structure. The ‘B’ sign, which weighs a considerable 1400kg, is mounted onto a complex support structure.  It is fabricated from 20mm thick laser cut Corten steel sections to create its ‘dashed’ appearance that becomes strikingly 3D when illuminated at night.

Barr Gazetas’ use of Corten steel for the sign and stair cladding, combined with the corrugations of the containers creates a striking ‘industrialistic’ look – the Corten steel is a specialist ‘weathering’ steel that is typically installed unpainted and allowed to oxidise (rust) to create a patinated finish. The Angel of the North is made of this material, as are the cladding panels of shipping containers because of the Corten steel’s corrosion resistant properties.

Our stock- in-trade is to provide containers to meet unusual requirements.

Previously the company designed, manufactured and supplied the modified containers for the iconic Wahaca restaurant on London’s South Bank.

Tom Lacey, associate director at Barr Gazetas, said: “We found that by working directly with S Jones Containers as the designer and manufacturer, it brought us closer to the manufacturing process, giving us greater control of the development of the specification as it progressed.”

Our Senior Technical Sales and Design Manager, Les Newick, explained that shipping containers provide great flexibility and adaptability and are ideal for this kind of installation.  “When combined with creativity and engineering know-how, they can be extensively applied to a host of diverse projects.” He added that a particularly challenging stage of the installation was the roof canopy and 1.4 tonne “B” sign, as they had to be lifted and pre-assembled in a single crane lift.

“My thanks go to everyone involved as this was a very difficult and technical lift carried out by our haulier John Butlin Ltd in torrential rain, and everyone was soaked to the skin by the time we finished in the dark and the cold,” he said.

“The extent of engineering and site work continues to prove that S Jones Containers can deliver projects from initial design through to final delivery.”

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