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Bow Arts Nunnery Café boasts a newly commissioned interior

18 April 2019

The Nunnery Gallery, part of educational arts charity Bow Arts, is a unique building on the ground floor of a former nineteenth-century convent, surrounded by Bow Arts' artist studios.

The newly launched Nunnery Café, adjacent to the gallery, features a wonderful new interior by award-winning designer Steuart Padwick, who created bespoke designs for both furniture and lighting in this unique space.

Padwick is best known for his sculptural and playful approach to furniture and lighting.

Taking on the challenge of the refurbishment – which had a tight budget and time frame – he has ingeniously transformed the Nunnery’s cherished café, which caters to Bow’s local community and artists alike.

Taking the colours from the original Victorian mosaic floor tiles of the Nunnery Gallery, Padwick worked with gallery sponsor Dulux to create four new contemporary “Nunnery colours”, which have been incorporated throughout his designs.

A new ceiling installation of spun aluminium lights was designed to create a layer of floating circles of colour below the café’s high wooden ceiling.

With a limited arts charity budget, Padwick had to be incredibly creative with the design and materials, using environmentally-friendly layered paper drums as the bases for the new low and high stools, as well as the tables.

All tops and shelves were made from birch plywood with a clear varnish finish. A new curved bar area was created from the same plywood as well as new shelving behind the counter.

Padwick worked tirelessly with Bow Arts’ partners and sponsors to create a space worthy of the locally-focussed arts and educational programming BOW Arts delivers across the borough.

His mantra of creating “designs to make you smile” surely fits here. The café space is now open alongside the Nunnery Gallery.

Thank Yous

A huge thank you to Dulux for the new paints and varnishes, Galliford Try for the birch ply, LEDVANCE for the OSRAM LED bulbs and Astro Lighting for the light fittings.

Special thanks to Steuart Padwick for all the design work and managing the manufacturing.

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