The Handlebar Cafe


Location – Winchester

Architect – ArchitecturePLB

Structrual engineer – ARUP

Main contractor – Blue Fish

Joinery – Bespoke Mpodular Developments

Wood supplier – Lathams, Accsys Technologies

Landscape services – JPS Ltd

Ground survey – Soils Ltd

Species – Accoya (New Zealand), various softwood, oak-faced ply

The Handlebar Cafe is a new community café and bike workshop created by a group of local teenagers supported by Hampshire charity SPUD. An intense two-year fundraising programme raised over £350k to build the project. The building sits on a viaduct cycle and walking path. Two train carriage like elements are linked by a glass divide. A third small building houses a cycle workshop. A profiled Accoya cladding board roots the project within its isolated setting. Bespoke, laser-cut shutter panels, depicting cogs and wheels, link the site to the existing railway line and new cycle route. Internally, a simple palette gives the building a clean aesthetic. The internal lining mimics the external form, with ply panels aligned to elongate the perspective of the building. The southern and western facades of the building are wrapped by a generous timber deck.