Channel Islands

Serving up a success: Earlswood Cafe

Earlswood Cafe

Since Tyrrell Dowinton Associates was founded by Brian Tyrrell and Paul Dowinton in July 2003, the practice has continued to deliver interesting and varied projects both within Guernsey and the mainland.

Over the last 9 years, the practice has been involved in several developments that have helped to shape the landscape of the Island. One of the company’s more recent projects – Earlswood Cafe – is a purpose-built eatery located within Earlswood Garden Centre in Ville Baudu and is one of 12 projects to be shortlisted at the Guernsey Design Awards 2012.

Tyrrell Dowinton Associates designed Earlswood Cafe to be an important centre point for the family friendly garden centre. The £560,000 facility cafe was completed in August 2011 and replaces an underutilised storage area at the centre.

Earlswood Cafe

In addition to providing hungry shoppers with both hot and cold meals, the 60-cover cafe boasts many home comforts that help to create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. These include a wood burning fireplace, comfortable sofas and soft furnishings.

A particular highlight of the cafe is the stunning glazed walls, which create ‘shop windows’ allowing customers to see out into the external areas of the garden centre. To add to this, a set of sliding doors open out onto an external seating area.

Many natural and sustainable materials have been incorporated in the design of the building, including timber and granite flooring. The exterior of the cafe also features a natural timber cladding that is designed to blend in with the plants and shrubs.

Earlswood Cafe

JW Rihoy and Son Ltd was the main contractor for the project, whilst the mechanical and electrical consultant was Amalgamated Facilities Management.

Tyrrell Dowinton Associates Director, Brian Tyrrell, said:

“When we designed Earlswood Cafe we wanted to create a family facility that was not just a central hub, but also a space within the garden centre where customers could feel both relaxed and comfortable.

“Prior to the construction of the cafe, this area of the garden centre looked tired and in need of attention. However, within just six months we had transformed what was an underutilised area of the garden centre into a true hive of activity.

“Seeing a project completed is one of the most satisfying aspects of my job and seeing how this building now functions with the general public is absolutely amazing. The feedback has been brilliant and the cafe has really transformed the atmosphere of the garden centre.”

He added:

“We started off as a small company 9 years ago and as the practice has grown over time, we have been commissioned with larger, more complex projects creating a strong and varied portfolio.

Earlswood Cafe

“When we are commissioned to design a building, we particularly enjoy working from inception right through to completion. Earlswood Cafe is a great example of this and it’s also a great project for Guernsey, as new build projects like this don’t tend to come up all too often.

“To be recognised with a nomination at the Guernsey Design Awards is a fantastic and rewarding achievement for the practice, especially after all the hard work we have put in.

“Of the projects that have been shortlisted for an award there are some really innovative designs, however ours is only one of two public buildings and I think we’ve got as good a chance as any. It is a nice surprise to be in the final 12, and we are absolutely delighted.”

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