RDA graduates with honours at Manchester Metropolitan University

Main Servery crop
RDA crafted Manchester Metropolitan University Business School’s main servery on an international food hall theme.

RDA has come through what it describes as “the most difficult procurement period in its history” to deliver a multi-location project at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

The kitchen design house was commissioned by MMU to deliver three new food and beverage outlets. In the Business School it designed, supplied, and installed a new main servery and Hub Café.

For the main servery area in the Business School, the client wanted a food hall inspired by the marketplaces of the world.

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RDA was also tasked with replacing the bright and stark finishes in the current Hub Café in the Business school with a warmer and more welcoming space.

In the School of Art, the brief was to deliver a monochromatic colour scheme with industrial finishes for an understated space to double up as an exhibition backdrop for student art.

The Business School’s main servery now offers a nod to the use of the traditional market stall while bringing more choice and an improved customer journey. The urban theme can be traced across the space through the material specifications such as industrial pendant lighting, concrete wallpaper and Corian counter tops.

Designer, Lucy Stewart says: “RDA’s designs drew influence from urban food markets which can be found all over the world. Our designers were inspired by London’s Borough Market, famous for its inclusive sense of community between vendors and customers.”

The Hub Café, also in the Business School, continues the urban look with reclaimed brick tiles, dark counter facias and Winter Oak flooring.

In the Benzie Building – home to Manchester School of Art – the space has been redesigned to improve queue flow. The décor is in keeping with the rest of the building and the furniture set up is dynamic for indoor or exterior use.

Despite suffering several setbacks due to procurement issues, the project was delivered on time and to client specifications.

For the equipment provision, the main showpiece was the new Zanolli Augusto electric dome pizza oven from Cater Bake. RDA also specified a bespoke counter and gantry fabrication from Proline, back of house fabrications and chilled multidecks from CED, iCombi Pro ovens from Rational, SCV-2 high speed ovens from Panasonic and a Merrychef high speed oven from Welbilt.

Furthermore, refrigeration was supplied from Williams and True, ice machines and dishwashers from Maidaid, bar blenders from Metcalfe, juice dispensers from Valera, heatlamps from Hatco, hands-free water fountains from Roller Grill, and a hot holding cabinet from Alto-Shaam.

RDA director Alex Bradley said: “Communication was key in overcoming the most challenging procurement period we have ever encountered.

Because we’ve got such strong relationships with our suppliers and contractors, the vast majority went above and beyond to make sure the project didn’t come to a halt.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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