Kānuka Cafe - Christchurch


Located on St Andrew’s triangle, directly opposite the footbridge linking Cambridge and Oxford Terraces, the new $72 million Christchurch Health Precinct Outpatients Building was completed in 2018.

The brief was simple:

Create a welcoming space to allow the WellFood brand to grow and to create a new identity for food retail at the Hospital Precinct.

We worked closely with project stakeholders to deliver a light, welcoming, comfortable space which also met the exacting standards for practicality, functionality, materials, and maintenance.


The space allocated to the cafe operation was a roughly 70m2 L shape, bisected by a main building entry thoroughfare.

The design needed to serve a busy staff cohort and public attending the various clinic services, but also to create an identity whereby the cafe could become a destination in its own right. This suggested the need for two spaces; one to suit a more relaxed visit, and one to meet the needs of customers with just five minutes to spare.


The natural corridor between street entry and the main foyer of the building was the sensible spot for bar leaners and takeaway order collection, with more private spaces to the east wall.


A 600mm circular column was no shrinking violet in the centre of the space, and the kitchen and service counters were established around this.


Natural materials and soft colouring were embraced within the design to encourage a sense of respite to users of the space. Slatted timber screening provided an enclosure to the less glamorous wash up area without closing in the space further.