Text description provided by the architects. Housed in a double storey Victorian arch on Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour, Archive is a design-led lifestyle store with a Scandinavian influence. The project’s intention was to create a contemporary insertion into the historic fabric with juxtaposing geometry, materials and texture.
The architectural response draws from both its seaside location and Scandinavian ethos, with a series of pitched-roof volumes and surfaces, all created from a single material; Birch plywood. The flooring, wall panelling, volumes, display units and counters were detailed by Haptic and crafted by a local carpenter.
At ground floor level, the café and retail space is gathered around a long communal table. The counter, table and display spaces are arranged in a linear fashion, offering views out to the Harbour. A primary volume forms the backdrop, with carved out spaces for children’s toys and books and a discreet door into the WC lobby.
The children’s area, WC lobby and WC are articulated as a series of pitched roof spaces, inter-linked by a continuous light slot, which highlights their sectional relationship. In the main space, a copper lighting grid is utilised as a framework to suspend pendants.
Upstairs, the double height arched volume is juxtaposed with an angular plywood form, that houses the kitchen and storage space.
The seating area is defined by simple pendant lighting, that can be moved around to suit evening supper clubs, exhibitions or other social gatherings. Both floors were designed to be flexible; used as a café and retail by day and for functions by night.