Handlebar Cafe

Handlebar Cafe, turned to Emsea’s Engineers to help design and manufacture a new set of shutters for their new community cafe.

Client: Grace and Webb
Sector: Architecture and Design
Project: ‘Gears and Cogs’ Handlebar Cafe Shutters
Material: Aluminium
Machinery: Laser, weld

Case Study Questions…

Q 1. What is the purpose of the product (brief outline of its purpose, capabilities and design)?

The laser cut shutters acted to provide decorative shading whilst open during the day to the Handlebar café windows and extra security when closed at night whilst retaining their artistic integrity. The shutters accommodated gas struts to enable them to open to 90 degrees allowing for maximum light into the café and to create decorative shadows of the design on the deck below.

Q 2. Where did the concept of the design come from?

The original ‘gears and cogs’ design was selected by Mark Drury, Director of SPUD design and Ian of ArchitecturePLB from the Shutterstock library of licensed designs. The imagery evoked cycling and the Handlebar Cafe as an exciting destination to encourage people of all abilities to cycle or walk to, along the old railway track at the bottom of St. Catherine’s Hill, Winchester, enjoying the area’s beautiful natural environment. Grace & Webb Ltd re- drew the design into a laser cutting file, adding larger areas of solid material to gain strength and extra security.

Q 3. What was it like to Work with Emsea on the project?

As Grace & Webb Ltd’s regular manufacturers, we can always rely on Emsea to work with us on our projects to provide solutions and advise on any design queries. We were very pleased with the quality of their laser cutting and manufacturing on this project especially considering the lead time was rather short.

Q 4. Why did you choose Emsea

As above

Q 5. Were there any designs problems that we helped overcome?

This project was fairly straight-forward in terms of fabrication. Emsea did provide Grace & Webb Ltd with weights for each shutter in the ‘Cogs and Gears’ design which was very useful in terms of specifying the correct gas struts. Emsea were able to fabricate the panels within a tight deadline in order to meet the Handlebar’s official launch date.

Q 6. Was there anything that surprised you that Emsea were able to provide/accommodate?

Grace & Webb Ltd and everyone involved in bringing the Handlebar café to fruition are very grateful to Emsea Ltd for offering their services FOC.

Mark Drury, Director, SPUD said:

“This is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work by all the team involved. The support from the local authorities, local businesses and individuals has been truly incredible and without it we could not have reached this point. It’s been a fantastic journey working with all the team and in particular the young people. SPUD believes passionately in enabling young people to make take an active role in their community and make a real difference.”


Creating high volume parts in the most efficient way possible


Produces highly accurate components at higher cutting speed than a conventional water jet


Manufacturing complex components for a variety of applications


The production of parts and assemblies that offer the most cost-effective solution


Conception and design, right through to completion

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