Lonza’s communal staff canteen is a dining hall with a difference. It's the perfect place to staff to collaborate and catch-up over good food.

Slough

5,500 sq ft

Dining with a difference


Lonza’s huge campus has everything its 1,000+ staff need but with so many bellies to satisfy at lunchtime, the pharmaceutical asked our team to refurbish its onsite canteen. Our brief was to convert the well-used kitchen and dining hall into a trendy fully-equipped canteen with informal meeting areas and flexible furniture.

We added the finishing touches you’d expect in a restaurant-style setting, including a distressed timber servery, ceramic splashbacks and non-slip flooring. This functional kitchen definitely earns brownie points for aesthetics. This really is a company dining hall with a difference!

One of ways Lonza plans to use the canteen is for quarterly company-wide meetings, which meant we had to find more usable space within the existing footprint. Our solution: add a mezzanine.

We positioned the mezzanine at the far end of the room, against the wall and an existing column. This maintains the ceiling height at the centre of the space at a comfortable distance and avoids an overcrowded dining room, which would be detrimental to its airy feel.

We stripped back the overhead mechanical infrastructure to provide more headroom and painted its components to ensure a uniform finish. On the furniture front, the mezzanine area is completed with dining tables and comfortable four-person booths with integrated AV, data and power.

Dining hall to town hall

The orientation of the mezzanine purposely faces a raft with integrated AV, which is suspended above the kitchen. This is the perfect way to ensure that everyone in the space, whether on the ground or in the air, can easily follow presentations. Even the balustrades on the side of the mezzanine are made from partially-translucent mesh to maintain visibility and inclusivity.

We removed all the existing acoustic baffles suspended from the ceiling and chose a more streamlined alternative. We sprayed an acoustic felt to the ceiling, one which adds a noise-absorbent layer without clutter or overcrowding. Some acoustic panels were also added to the raft itself, incorporated neatly into the design using colourful stripes.

Flexible furniture

Flexibility is a key feature of the furniture we specified for Lonza’s unique canteen. The dual purpose space required a thoughtful approach to make the transition from dining hall to town hall as seamless as possible. All the lightweight furniture, including the dining tables and chairs, can easily collapse and stack for fuss-free storage.

Relax, regroup and refresh

Every inch of the canteen’s footprint has a purpose. To complement the eating areas, we also designed and built an additional informal meeting space underneath the mezzanine. Employees are invited to relax in a more domestic setting with sofas and other soft furniture. Because we wanted to keep the space open, without unnecessary barriers, this lounge area is delineated only by different flooring.

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