Coolings Garden Centre Cafe, Knockholt
Coolings is a family-run independent garden centre with a strong environmental outlook. Like many similar businesses these days, an onsite cafe is a key part of their growth strategy. An existing enclosed patio area to the rear of the main cafe featured four umbrellas. These provided shade but limited shelter during cold or wet weather, so the brief was a more robust solution.
In this instance, Loca Shading Designs recommended a retractable roof system to sit on the existing oak framed enclosure. A vaulted curved roof created a light and airy environment. This was completely custom built on site, as the building footprint was out of square. Another feature of the installation was the weather sealing of the new roof to the overlapping timber board main building. This surface is notoriously challenging to ‘flash’ into, but is exactly the kind of process that Loca Shading Designs specialises in. Along with completely covering the patio area, the retractable roof offers the flexibility of al fresco dining on warmer days. Last but not least, integrated lights also make the space welcoming on dark winter days. So much so that it has become the most popular section of the cafe.