Wellcome Wing, Science Museum: Deep Blue Cafe

Architect: Wilkinson Eyre: Graphic design and signage: Johnson Banks: Lighting: DHA Lighting Design: Naming consultant: Watermark:

The Wellcome Wing team identified the need for a café on the ground floor ‘because by the time you’ve made it through the old museum, you’re in need of a coffee’, says Michael Johnson, partner at design consultancy Johnson Banks, who created the graphics and also the branding on the Deep Blue products (beers, plates and T-shirts).

The café is part of the whole experience of the Wellcome Wing, which is conceived as a theatre of contemporary science, while also providing a common language between visitors sitting at the illuminated tables and the exhibits which surround them.

The café interior is a powerful medley of blinking graphics and pulsating signs. Johnson, who worked alongside DHA Lighting Design, explains: ‘The space is quite dark, so illumination is critical to the whole wing.’

Architect Wilkinson Eyre, which oversaw the interiors of the café, dropped a string of neons from a 8m-high ceiling to create a level of intimacy. Working alongside MacCormac Jamieson Prichard, architect of the Wellcome Wing, it designed self-illuminated tables and Corian benches linking up with the futuristic theme of the wing. Tim McDowell, project architect at Wikinson Eyre, explains his intent: ‘The wing is a forum for science, and we wanted those eating in the café to feel part of that audience.’

Architect: Wilkinson Eyre

Graphic design and signage: Johnson Banks

Lighting: DHA Lighting Design

Naming consultant: Watermark

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