A University of South Australia (UniSA) review of its cafeterias resulted in a program of revitalization for these key centres of student life. Tectvs was engaged to provide design services for the upgrade of facilities at the City West, Mawson Lakes and Magill campuses.
The brief was to change the image of the venues from institutional cafeteria to contemporary café within extremely modest budgets.
Accessed from gritty and colourful Hindley Street, the City West cafeteria was a dark and dull throwback to the utilitarian factory paradigm – a room full of tables and chairs, and traditional cattle-race serving system. Tectvs focused on breaking up the room into a series of spaces and treatments that better related to the habits and expectations of the contemporary student, for whom the cafeteria was an essential social and service centre, day and night. Tectvs created different pockets of seating – casual, formal and open – which were also defined and accentuated by lighting treatments. The service system had to stay, but the new layout reduced its presence and improved its function. Lacking a budget to upgrade the building fabric itself, Tectvs effectively inserted a ‘stage set’ into the existing interior.
At Mawson Lakes, a redundant classroom area was designated for conversion to a coffee shop as an Aroma Coffee franchise outlet, The Café. Tectvs redesigned the premises and specified contemporary materials, furniture and lighting; it also provided graphic design services for branding and environmental graphics for the Western Australia-based business.
At Magill campus, Tectvs was engaged to assess the building and design requirements of the Aroma Coffee brand in establishing a new outlet. It consequently designed the base building for the cafe and acted as project manager and design moderator on the project which would serve as a template for the development of Aroma Coffee on-campus outlets nationally.