Uniform yet unique, robust and reusable, the textured warmth of SterlingOSB Zero strikes just the right vibe for VeloLife Café, a cycle workshop and café in Twyford
Lee Goodwin adores SterlingOSB Zero. ‘I love the texture, I love the warmth it brings, I love the fact that no two pieces are the same and yet I can get a uniform appearance out of something that is not uniform,’ he enthuses.
Lee Goodwin is the proprietor of VeloLife Café, a growing group of venues that combine a café with a bicycle workshop. He used SterlingOSB Zero in Warren Row, his first venture, close to Henley-Upon-Thames. This was an old pub that he converted into a café and bicycle workshop. It features tables made from SterlingOSB Zero and the café’s sign, which now hangs in place of the old pub sign, is also made from the material.
Following the success of Warren Row, Goodwin opened a pop-up café. ‘I used SterlingOSB Zero in the pop-up because it is cost effective and – because I was going to be taking the café down at some point in the future – I knew I could use the material again,’ he says. ‘It’s a wonderful product. I’ve now reused some of it four or five times,’ he laughs.
Goodwin’s next permanent venture was at Wargrave Marina, a few pedal spins down the road from Warren Row. He describes this café as ‘a bit more refined’. And while there is none on show, Goodwin has fed his SterlingOSB Zero addiction by using it for his office door.
Now Goodwin’s latest venture is under construction in nearby Twyford. This is an existing cycle shop and café where Goodwin is bringing his experience and expertise to running the café. ‘I’ve taken over the café part; I’m moving it to a different part of the building with more frontage, which is where I’m building the new café,’ he explains.
He says his designs are derived from working with the building itself: ‘I’m by no means a designer (or carpenter for that matter), but I’ve learned it as I’ve gone along’.
Naturally, SterlingOSB Zero is Goodwin’s fit-out material of choice. ‘I’ve clad the walls and ceiling in it and used it along the front of the bar counter as well,’ he says. From an interior perspective, he says that although the product is ‘quite workshop-like’, because it is so uniform it gives the scheme ‘a bit of reffinement’.
Goodwin is complementing the SterlingOSB Zero with plywood counter tops and colourful lampshades.
Goodwin has even managed to use his reclaimed SterlingOSB Zero in the workshop. ‘The workshop counter is clad in it and behind the scenes there is a fair amount of it. We’ve also used it for shelving and displays,’ he says.