Jan Hendzel creates wooden furniture for pop-up cafe at Camberwell College of Arts


Jan Hendzel Studio has designed a range of wooden furnishings for a pop-up cafe at Camberwell College of Arts, forming part of the £62 million redevelopment of the southeast London campus (+ slideshow).

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

Hendzel created a bespoke range of stackable chairs, stools, dining tables and benches for the new Canteen coffee bar, which is equipped to serve 3,000 art students each day.

The south London studio specialises in small-batch production, and selected English ash and reclaimed Douglas fir for this project.

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

The temporary cafe will cater for students during a £62-million-redevelopment at the college, which is one of six schools that make up University of the Arts London, alongside Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion.

"It's inspiring to see a large educational institution supporting local studios, and perhaps more importantly, former students," said Jan Hendzel, who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009.

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

"We pushed ourselves to innovate, and demonstrated that a high-quality bespoke design range can be delivered on a budget that is competitive with mass-produced furniture," he added.

Formerly known as Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, the school still has a strong emphasis on developing craft techniques. During the project, two students apprenticed at the studio to learn traditional joinery skills.

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

The wooden furnishings are locked together with tenon joints, and treated with natural oils and durable matt lacquer.

"The robustly constructed series of pieces has a unique aesthetic and character," said Hendzel. "Over time, the timbers will acquire a patina, ensuring the furniture ages gracefully."

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

"Bridle joints with locking through tenons are used throughout the range, and a specially designed tenon joint for the seat rest is an innovative technique that allows the A-frame design to stack without using laminated components," he added.

The pop-up cafe occupies the former reception and temporary exhibition area beside the school's main entrance. It will remain open until 2018, when the new canteen is expected to complete.

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

College dean Nick Gorse said he hopes the pieces will become a permanent fixture.

"The relationship between Camberwell, its students and Jan Hendzel Studio has produced some beautiful furniture that reflects the college's values and dedication to sustainability," he said, "while also creating a positive and attractive environment for the pop-up coffee bar which relates to the architecture of the space."

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

Originally opening in 1898 in a red brick building adjoining the South London Gallery – extended by 6A Architects in 2010 – the school received a new wing designed by Murray, Ward & Partners in the early 1960s.

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

This concrete block – which is said to be based on a radio, and which features perforated screens – is where the pop-up cafe is located.

Last year, London studio Stephen Marshall Architects unveiled its plans to add a new halls of residence and a glass-fronted building to house a lecture theatre as well as studios, a library and a gallery. The building's unique Brutalist facade will also be given a facelift.

Camberwell Canteen by Jan Hendzel Studio

Camberwell's alumni include filmmaker Mike Leigh, Changing Rooms interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett.

  • Roberto Sideris

    Interesting how UAL can spend £62 million on redevelopment, yet my friend who is studying an Art Foundation at Camberwell is telling me that they might get rid of the course within the next 1-5 years because of a lack of funding.

  • Boris

    Beautiful work!

  • Amyspro

    This pop-up cafe most certainly does not cater for 3000 students daily and certainly not at an affordable price for students. It’s also weird how the university has spent a lot of money and effort on creating a well designed space to eat in (that is visible to the public from the street), yet the second years studios have been moved off campus to a hidden, temporary, shed-like structure for the next year.

    The renovation visible from the outside of UAL is just a facade. From the students’ perspective, it’s a giant mess, both figuratively and literally.

    • Milked student

      No money for tools and teaching staff, but that… We’ve been lied to and mocked. Maybe Hendzel can let us use their equipment? If the college educated properly, their own students could build these too. Never mind the food being about twice as expensive as before, so hardly anybody can afford it.

      • kite

        Hendzel Design Studio are all recent UAL graduates.