The Edinburgh café’s birch plywood play area includes walkways, rope bridges, stepping-stones and a central structural column with stairs that allows 12 trained, resident cats to roam around the space.
“They can traverse across the top of the room, giving them full reign of the café and providing a spectacle for the people sat below,” says 22-year-old Steve Swanton, co-founder at SPLINTR.
The Japanese inspired set-up comes complete with designated cat toilets, “chill out” pitched roof sleeping houses for when the cats want a break, and a wicker sofa. “This is particularly good for cats to scratch,” Swanton says.
Café-owner Laura O’Neill got in contact with SPLINTR to undertake the interior design after hearing about other smaller projects in Edinburgh that they had completed, such as bespoke café lighting made from repurposed fire extinguishers and concrete/copper clothes rails for a pop-up clothes store.
“At first we were bemused by the idea, but it gave us a great showcase of what we can do,” Swanton says. ‘The café offers a relaxing environment for people to be in, and has a therapeutic nature to it.”
Maison de Moggy is currently at a pop-up location, and will be moving to a permanent residency in summer. As a result, the consultancy has designed the architecture as modular, so that things can be moved from one place to the next.
“There are lots of individual units,” Swanton says. “The housing boxes can be put in any place and the different levels of bridges can be connected in any way.”
The SPLINTR team consists of Steve Swanton, Jack Fisher and Francis Munnoch, who are all aged between 22 and 24 and recently graduated from the University of Dundee with degrees in product design. They built the exhibition space for New Designers 2014 in London.