A Leicester charity dedicated to removing poverty and providing a safe space for the homeless has benefited from design support from multi-disciplinary practice, rg+p.
TEAMS (Together Everyone Achieves More Success) is focused on bringing communities together to tackle issues such as poverty, homelessness and poor or no education. One of their local initiatives is the City Retreat, on Church Gate in Leicester city centre. This centre aims to provide a warm and welcoming shelter, community foodbank as well as space for education, careers guidance, mentoring and counselling. Part of TEAMS’ expansion plans for the centre include a new community café, which Leicester-based rg+p has designed.
One of the firm’s architectural technologists, Tahir Caratella explains: “My family has been working with TEAMS for a while so the trustees asked if rg+p would provide some layout ideas for a new café they are hoping to create in three Victorian shop units adjacent to the City Retreat. We met with the trustees to establish their aspirations for the space and our interiors team has voluntarily prepared some initial designs.”
rg+p’s concept for the 2,000+ sq ft space includes an open plan, flexible seating area, fully equipped kitchen and outdoor courtyard. Experts from the firms’ interiors, landscaping and visualisation divisions have developed the design, which is intended to create a welcoming and relaxed environment to maximise natural light, and features a glazed front window and bi fold doors leading out to the courtyard. Exposed brick walls, refurbished wooden floor boards and reclaimed furniture are contrasted with statement lighting, hanging ceiling garden and 1950s advertising inspired décor.
Zahid Sheikh, trustee, TEAMS: “Our vision is to create a real hub for the community, where people can meet, run activities or hold performances. The refreshments served will also contribute towards our overall fundraising so it’s a really vital space. rg+p has done a fantastic job with the design for the café, landscaping for the courtyard and general advice since the start; we’re extremely grateful for their input and creativity.”
Tahir added: “As a Leicester-based business, we’re always keen to extend our support to local initiatives and make a real difference in our home city. We’re excited to see this café take shape and wish everyone at TEAMS every success with the project.”
Work on the conversion of the three units is now underway and it is anticipated the café will open at the end of the year. To find out more about TEAMS or how you can help, please visit www.teams-ltd.org.