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Case Study: Lancaster University Food Court

9th February 2022


The Brief

Established in 1964, the University of Lancaster is located in Bailrigg, just outside Lancaster. It’s a self-contained campus university with around 15,000 students living and studying in nine colleges set in 300 acres of landscaped parkland.

There are many services, shops and dining venues spread throughout the campus for students, lecturers and staff to use. One popular diner and bar is The Marketplace,located at the north end of the campus. The Marketplace offers a community dining experience from breakfast to dinner. It includes a Costa Coffee, fresh daily menu, and a bar. The venue was undergoing a refurbishment and the client was looking for commercial furniture that would complement the new interior scheme.

The Warner Contract Furniture Solution

The Marketplace offers a variety of dining options – from breakfast through to dinner. So our recommendation was to install a mixture of tables and chairs to help create different areas within the venue. Some areas are focused purely on dining and others on more relaxed social gatherings.

As The Marketplace caters for hundreds of customers each day it was crucial that the commercial furniture we chose was able to withstand constant heavy use. It was also important that the furniture we specified should complement the contemporary, industrial design scheme. We therefore suggested a variety of durable yet attractive items from our range of commercial furniture with a vintage or retro-style.

Dining Areas

We supplied three different styles of Restaurant Tables for the food court. These included: the Marden Complete Table, Tokyo Bench Set and Danilo Base with Bespoke Laminate Table Tops.

Our Marden range of complete tables have a simple yet sturdy design and are a great choice for busy cafes and restaurants. They comprise a sturdy four-leg steel frame which supports an eye-catching yet extremely hard wearing metallic copper effect laminate table top.

For another look we paired our Danilo Medium Square Dining Table Bases with our bespoke Grey Beige Bamenda H1115 800mm square laminate table tops.

Manufactured from cast iron with a brushed stainless steel cover plate, our Danilo Medium Square Dining Table Bases are attractive, sturdy and low maintenance. They match perfectly with our super hardwearing bespoke Bamenda H1115 laminate table tops, which are designed mainly for outdoor commercial use and can withstand constant heavy use.

Given the heavy traffic expected at The Marketplace – with thousands of customers coming and going every week, it was important that the table tops could stand up to this. Made from ultra tough HPL, our bespoke Bamenda H1115 laminate table tops won’t stain, can withstand temperatures up to 180C and are scratch resistant – perfect for busy dining areas. In addition, we provide anti-chip edges as standard.

And to complement both dining sets and to help create an ‘Amercian Diner’ look, we specified our Vintage Leather Dining Chairs. Comprising a sturdy tubular steel frame and a fully upholstered seat in durable faux leather, these cafe chairs are ideal for any retro- or industrial-themed restaurant, cafe or bar. The client opted for three different colours: grey, teal, and blue.

For The Marketplace’s third option, our Tokyo Dining Set provides for a more relaxed and social experience. With a steel frame and lacquered finish the set comprises a dining table plus two bench seats. Its clean and stylish contemporary lines mean it suits most design schemes – perfect for cafes, restaurants, canteens and food courts.

Social Areas

Social seating at The Marketplace. Photo credit: Warner Contract Furniture

As well as offering a full menu of meals throughout the day, The Marketplace is also a popular place for students and staff to grab a coffee and snack. So the client wanted some separate areas with less formal seating where people could relax together.

We suggested pairing the client’s existing sofas with our rectangular Box Coffee Table. This attractive table echoes the design of the Marden tables with a robust metal frame powder coated in black. The frame supports a stunning hardwood top – providing a clean and contemporary low-level surface.

To complete the look, we specified Senator Side Chairs in teal. Sporting a stylish mid-century retro look, our Senator Side Chairs are elegant yet surprisingly sturdy thanks to their metal sled frame. They are also fully upholstered in contract quality real leather and feature a classic quilted button-back design.

Bar Area

The Marketplace stays open into the evening as people drop by for a drink at the bar and for this area we suggested they opt for our rectangular Marden Poseur Tables paired with our Matilda Bar Stools in black.

The Marden Poseur tables complement the Marden Dining Tables and have the same sturdy construction and easy to maintain copper effect laminate top. And our Matilda Outdoor Bar Stool completes the look. Made from glass fibre-reinforced polypropylene, these stools will stand up to a huge amount of wear and use.

The Full Specification:

  • x17 Marden Square Dining Table / 690mm Sq
  • x34 Vintage Leather Dining Chair / Grey
  • x34 Vintage Leather Dining Chair / Blue
  • x4 Marden Rectangular Poseur Table / 1190 x 690mm
  • x16 Matilda Bar Stool / Black
  • x3 Box Rectangular Coffee Table
  • x6 Senator Side Chairs / Teal
  • x5 Tokyo Dining Set / 1200 x 800mm Table / 2 x 1000 x 350mm Benches / Laminate Table
  • x24 800mm Square Laminate Table Tops / 25mm Thick / 25mm Matching ABS Edge / Grey Beige Bamenda H1115
  • x24 Danilo M Square Dining Table Base
  • x84 Vintage Leather Dining Chair / Teal

How we can help

Whether you’re opening a new commercial venue or planning a refurbishment of your school, cafe, restaurant, bar, hotel or leisure centre then get in touch. Our website will lead you through our huge range of commercial furniture.

And if you need some help then our expert and friendly sales team are happy to guide you to the contract furnishing solution for your particular needs. You can call us on 0161 408 2390 or email our sales department [email protected] to get a quote.

Talk to us about our discounts on bulk orders. Our standard delivery time is just 3-5 working days as we source most of our stock within the UK. And if you need a faster turnaround then an express 24-hour service is also available for a fee.

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