Kinder Kitchen

Offsea: office for socially engaged architecture and urbanism, London, 2021



Photos by Tara Zoe Greifenberg     Download Original

  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_4_offsea_kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_3_offsea    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_01_offsea_kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_2_offsea_kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_03_offsea_kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_5_offsea_Kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_6_offsea_Kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_7_offsea_Kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_8_offsea_kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_9_offsea_kinde    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_10_offsea_Kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_04_offsea_kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_05_offsea_kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_06_offsea_kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_07_offsea_Kind    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_09_offse    
  • WQLR6O8SUNPK9NA_10_offsea_ (1)    

Plant-based kindergarten kitchen and café in Bermondsey, south London,

Kinder Kitchen, which combines the German word for children (kinder) with the English word for kindness (in this case to the planet) is a plant-based kindergarten kitchen and café.

Offsea turned an abandoned hair salon into a sociable and inclusive café/kitchen with a colour-intense and fun, yet calming spatial atmosphere away from office environments and domestic kitchens-cum-work spaces; a place to be with others again after a year of lockdowns.

With most of the small budget going into basic infrastructures, the design had to be cost-effective and witty. Offsea created an arched space divider that acts as doorway, food hatch, prep area, storage space and light-giver. This ‘hard-working inhabited’ partition also leads to a drastic reduction in the materials needed with the intention to build less.

The arch is finished with rose and pistachio linoleum, a carbon-neutral durable material. Ribbed glass brings additional daylight into the kitchen, avoiding a dingy back workspace. This is paired with a rose, pistachio and mint-coloured counter and café seating, 70s salvaged sanitaryware and utilitarian quarry floor tiles, enabling future spatial transformations. Bright stripes, reminiscent of market stalls and fairgrounds are used for awnings and backrests.

Where possible, materials were salvaged or repurposed. However, Offsea approaches sustainability not only through material choices but also through the harnessing of dormant and unused spaces, in this case, a perfectly usable 25m2 loft space that had been locked away by a suspended ceiling. The ‘lost loft’ was ‘excavated’ and integrated into the café increasing the usable space by one third.

With the core work starting during the height of the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown, this was also a project where new ways of working had to be developed, from outdoor meetings to Zoom site visits and remote coordination sessions with builders.

Annual CO2 data was not provided


  • Begun: Nov 2020
  • Completed: May 2021
  • Floor area: 80m2
  • Sectors: Retail, Education
  • Total cost: £63,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Nov 2020
  • Address: 27 Bartholomew Street, Bermondsey, London, SE1 4AL, United Kingdom

Professional Team