The consultancy was appointed directly by catering company Compass in October 2009 and tasked with redesigning a cafe, which opened last week, and a restaurant space, which opens next week, in the hope that the look and feel could relate to museum content.
The museum is going through an extensive refurbishment, which has seen a £7m investment in its Main Building and the integration of new conferencing, education and eating facilities.
The restaurant is housed at first-floor height in a 1990s building, and also runs into one of the museum’s original warehouse buildings. The cafe sits at ground-floor level in the warehouse building.
Both spaces exploit an industrial aesthetic inspired by the museum, according to SHH director Neil Hogan, who says that in the restaurant a 7mx3m on-off wallpaper mural depicts a combustion engine, telescope and other exhibits.
’A crisp, clean and technical’ look pervades the self-service hot food offer, he says, where all the serving units are made from industrial components.
First-floor exposed iron columns and beams mean that there is a ’relative connection’ to the new service counters.
The work follows the commission of a series of installations for the museum by Kin, set to launch in December, which will encourage visitors to interact with exhibits through different digital media within the museum and online.
Kin’s work focuses on the building’s main Revolution Gallery, where, as well as interacting with exhibits through barcode cards, a plasma wall made of 50 screens will help visitors understand the connections between the Manchester-designed exhibits and the city’s development through industrial and digital revolutions.