JA Projects



Date: 2016

Hackney, London


A bright and vibrant celebration, of colour, coffee and cocktails.


Photos: Edmund Dabney, Dojo

With a programme that demands usability throughout both the daytime and evening, the remodelled interior works hard to provide a welcoming and generous space. A bridge like structure spans the entire width of the upstairs room and alongside the bar marks the division between publicly accessible and private preparatory areas. Yet the permeable nature of this suspended divide ensures that the role of host and those being hosted is informal. A companion structure bookends the room. Part display, part store these twinned elements formally establish a sense of depth whilst providing much needed functionality to an otherwise compact space. Subtle vertical articulation to the flanking walls complement the elegant framework and the collection of interventions provide a muted armature for the vibrancy of happenings.

JA Projects continues to play an active roll in the curation of an ongoing artistic programme of exhibitions and installations, while Diddy’s frequently hosts live events and private celebrations.


The interior is characterised by bursts of colour and where the inclusion of orange chairs is in homage to traditional cafe culture, similarly the custom tables are a tribute to the maker culture and artistic heritage of Beck Road - the junction at which Diddy’s is located. Working alongside Diddy and Sacha Ren, the basement was converted into a casting workshop for the duration of the construction period. The facility to prototype and fabricate furniture on site proved invaluable in working through issues such as composition and scale and ensured that the formal results lend themselves to the ethos of the Diddy’s, namely community and fun. Appropriately, for a business centred around its playful proprietor, Diddy has ensured through her hands-on approach to making, that her character and narrative are embedded within the fabric of her eponymous establishment.



JA Projects + Sacha Ren


Client: Diddy Varley; Contract value: Undisclosed;


Metalwork: Lucie Brun-Naujalis; Woodwork: Luke Mills