The Movement Café is a newly constructed, temporary café and performance space designed by British artist Morag Myerscough and commissioned by Cathedral Group in Greenwich, South East London. Situated next to the DLR station, it is on the site of the former Greenwich Industrial Estate and is part of a larger project to regenerate the area. The space was built in anticipation of the now passed 2012 Olympic Games as a gateway threshold to the Olympic borough to serve tourists as well as the residents of Greenwich.
The conceptual origin for the colorful and outspoken cafe has an interesting backstory. Built within just sixteen days, Myerscough collaborated with fellow Supergroup member, artist Luke Morgan. The design was inspired by poet and “prolific tweeter”, Lemn Sissay. On June 27th, Sissay tweeted:
This is the House.
This is the Path.
This is the Gate.
This is the Opening.
This is the Morning.
This is a Person Passing.
This is Eye Contact.
Myerscough set these words into the design of the cafe, painting them on large wooden panels to become an eye-catching fixture noting the presence of the new social community space. The framework for the cafe exterior and interior walls are also covered with hand painted Myerscough patterns. The furniture is designed by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan from reclaimed laboratory tops with cushions are hand sewn from kite fabric. Sissay’s poem about Greenwich called Shipping Good, commissioned by Cathedral Group, is posted on the walls that wrap the site and will eventually be set permanently into the road that cuts through the site.
The Movement Cafe, though built as a welcome to visitors for the Olympic Games, aspires to be a much more community oriented space. The outdoor amphitheater area provides a relaxed atmosphere for commuters or visitors and hosts storytelling, poetry reading and acoustical performances several times a week.
In addition, the cafe is run by the Greenwich Co-Operative Development Agency, a local not-for-profit organisation that works with disadvantaged communities across London promoting food growing projects, and sells a range of organic, fair-trade, sustainable, locally-sourced food and drink, including muffins, cakes and tarts. The Café also has a Pashley ice cream bicycle customized by artist Luke Morgan, selling homemade vegan ice cream. The cafe will also keep patrons up to date on Sissay’s tweets on a blackboard.
The cafe expects to be open for around six months. Its initiative is to encourage a more sustainable lifestyle as a hint towards the future that Cathedral Group has planned for the Greenwich Industrial Estate. Check out The Movement for more information on the redevelopment of the Greenwich Industrial Estate.