RDA makes a mess for the military

RDA outfitted this indoor grill for the MoD’s Northwood HQ.RDA outfitted this indoor grill for the MoD’s Northwood HQ.

Service personnel at the Ministry of Defence’s Northwood HQ in Hertfordshire now have a brand new ‘mess’ after Restaurant Design Associates (RDA) was called in to overhaul the site’s Café 450 and junior, senior and officers dining and recreation areas.

The project for caterer Aramark saw RDA transforming Café 450 to provide three new separate service areas offering a variety of eating experiences – Aroma by Nero coffee shop, a deli area and a new indoor grill featuring Big Green Egg BBQs, which involved the design and installation of a complex ventilation and filtration system for safe indoor cooking.

The brief also included the installation of a new kitchen in the beer cellar.

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Having worked with Aramark for over 5 years, the Northwood HQ project is RDA’s first major scheme at a military base, and the first time the company has installed the Aroma by Nero brand and Big Green Egg BBQs.

Lee Jures, director of operations at Aramark, said: “Throughout the design, installation and handover process, RDA provided us with fantastic support and advice on how to best utilise the space available. Although the project was not without several challenges along the way, the experience of the team at RDA ensured that these problems caused minimal disruption. Overall the project delivery was smooth from start to finish, and the completed works have been very well received.”

Stephen Rochester, quantity surveyor at RDA, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed working with Aramark on this project for the Ministry of Defence. At RDA we look at each individual client’s needs, before delivering the best solution, which for this particular client was creating several dining options for the team. Introducing elements such as the Big Green Egg BBQs added fun and flair, working seamlessly within the overall design of the various spaces to create a relaxing environment.”

Northwood is a military HQ of the British Armed Forces and is home to five military command and control functions including the Joint Forces Command, Multi National HQ, Commander Operations for the Royal Navy and the NATO Allied Maritime Command.

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