The Corner Café fosters community and creativity in London

Tarek Merlin, director and co-founder of Feix&Merlin Architects, and his partner Mark Osman-Barter have opened Corner, a new cafe and creative space in the New Cross section of London. Home to an underground art exhibition and event space, this peaceful urban sanctuary prioritizes the LGBTQ+ community and promotes inclusivity through its branding and restorative design.

“We are passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion, and we wanted that to be reflected in our approach and the way we present ourselves to the community – a welcoming space open to all,” says Merlin. “It was really important to us to visibly show our support for the LGBTQ+ community, so we chose to add the lettering LGBTQ+ to the windows, as a proud statement about inclusivity as you enter.”

The gut renovation of the corner space revealed textured bricks and complementary honey-colored wooden floors. “We were very lucky with what we found behind the walls and under the flooring, a perfect backdrop to work with when it came to imagining the interior design,” adds Merlin.

Light sage green and a darker mallard green anchor the space’s soothing color palette, which also includes pink coral accents. Accessible restrooms feature pink basins offset by blue and green accents. Custom marble pendants handmade by Italian artisans warmly illuminate the café interior while serving as an intriguing focal point. Three arches draw the eye further, evoking a unique perspective bias with mirrored surfaces that expand the space.

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