Manns Cafe

vPPR Architects, Cranleigh , 2015


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Refurbishment and transformation of a locally listed medieval building at a large department store

A locally-listed medieval building at the 150-year-old department store Manns of Cranleigh in Surrey has been refurbished to create a new cafe space.

New connections have been made between the cafe, the store and the street, enhancing the presence of the shop fronts in public life and becoming the only such accessible space in Cranleigh.

The practice designed both the front and back of house, allowing the building to function better in everyday life.

The interior is encased in a continuous one-metre-high timber wall panelling that encloses customers and unites what was previously a series of adhoc spaces. Its distinctive ribbed profile is derived from the store’s original exterior tile cladding, with concealed lighting around its upper edge bringing spaces to life which were once dark and unforgiving. By keeping the design classic and modern, the stunning historic timber structure is fully revealed
A bespoke Corian bar displays food and repeats the ribbed designs of the wall panelling at a different scale, featuring a custom-made brass light overhead.

Multiple variations of seating are used to accommodate different public requirements across the course of the day, with white marbles tables resting on richly textured grey terrazzo floors.


  • Begun: Aug 2015
  • Completed: Nov 2015
  • Floor area: 125m2
  • Sector: Retail
  • Total cost: £200,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Mar 2015
  • Procurement: JCT Construction Management Contract 2011
  • Address: Manns of Cranleigh, , 101 High Street, Cranleigh , GU6 8AY, United Kingdom

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