Duke of York Restaurant
Championing the best of modern design in harmony with its heritage and surroundings, construction on a new restaurant within Duke of York Square in London’s Chelsea has commenced ahead of a 2018 opening.
Boasting a unique and innovative design, the state-of-the-art Duke of York Restaurant build will be part of Cadogan’s award-winning Duke of York Square development. After an international competition in 2012 which saw around 150 entries submitted from around the world, London-based practice Nex Architecture had their designs unanimously selected by the competition jury.
When construction of the restaurant is completed in 2018, the new structure will include an innovative glass façade from Kollegger, which will lower into a single storey basement during nice weather – the first of its kind in the UK. It will also include a circular roof terrace, open to the public as an additional green space to relax, overlooking the ‘running track’ famed as Roger Banister’s training ground for the four minute mile. High-quality materials are being used to create the flexible space that merges inside and outside for a year round destination.
Work on the project is being carried out for Cadogan by main contractor Westgreen, who will be working over a 15-month period. The initial 3 months encompassed the dismantling of the existing café, removal of the stone paving and adjustments and upgrades to the water and electricity supplies for the new building.
Earlier this year the design of the restaurant received a boost when it won the ‘Hotels & Hospitality’ category at the New London Architecture Awards. Supported by the Mayor of London, the New London Architecture Awards seek projects of the highest design quality which make a positive contribution to their surroundings and life in the capital.
Cadogan’s Chief Executive Hugh Seaborn said: “It is a privilege to be able to champion inspiring and innovative design, while further enhancing Duke of York Square as a unique destination with its careful blend of listed and contemporary architecture alongside world class shopping, dining and culture.”
Alan Dempsey, Director at Nex Architecture, added: “Our approach ensures that the new café resonates with the architectural heritage of the site, while providing a contemporary space that has flexibility for year round use. It provides a new perspective on the Square for watching the world go by, while at the same time providing shelter. When the glass façade is lowered during warm weather, it will as one with surrounding area, merging holistically with the existing space to create a large al fresco seating area.”
John Gilsenan, Managing Director at Westgreen, said:
“As main contractor we are responsible for the delivery of the whole project on behalf of Cadogan. This involves the dismantling of the existing café and piling/excavation to construct a single-story basement, ground floor and open landscape roof terrace.
“The Duke of York Square is one of the busiest areas of Chelsea and as such presents a number of challenges. Our carefully planned approach is being safely executed to deliver minimum disruption to the square’s vibrant routine. We have worked hard to provide “invisible construction” by managing our logistics and adopting innovative solutions to the various challenges presented.
“A bespoke Dibond hoarding, inspired by the Duke of York Headquarters’ Listed Wall, ‘camouflages’ the whole site. We also have installed ‘acoustic enclosures’ to reduce noise while we carrying out concrete breaking, cutting and excavating.
“All deliveries and collections on site are carefully timed and managed to make them as short as possible – taking inspiration from Formula 1 pit-stop teams – and we have an orchestrated traffic management plan that aims to minimise disruption and provide for the safety of all.
“We’re immensely proud to be part of this landmark project – an award-winner before ground was even broken. It presents just the kinds of challenges we enjoy, including complex engineering elements that will make a significant contribution to the customers’ experience when the restaurant opens. It’s exciting to be working on a prime site of historic significance which ties a contemporary, challenging design with the site’s heritage.”
Once open, Duke of York Restaurant will bring a brand new dimension to Duke of York Square, enhancing its offering to visitors and the local community and becoming a new landmark for the King’s Road. For more information about the project and to keep up to date with its progress, please visit www.dukeofyorkrestaurant.com.
Duke of York Square
Formerly a tired Territorial Army site, Cadogan completed the redevelopment of Duke of York Square in 2004 and in the time since has become a hugely popular destination. At the heart of the public space is the iconic Saatchi Gallery which operates alongside a range of international fashion, food, beauty and culture. This includes the largest Zara store in Europe and other brands such as Michael Kors, Liz Earle and All Saints. On Saturdays it hosts one of London’s best open air fine food markets.
Located on the King’s Road, Duke of York Square is a rare traffic-free treat to indulge, rest and relax.
Established in 1999, Westgreen is a family-owned construction and development business. Originally based in Richmond-upon-Thames, Westgreen moved to central London in 2017.
Westgreen work for high-profile clients in the arts, retail, hospitality and bespoke residential sectors and have collaborated with leading architects, including Caruso St John, David Chipperfield, Annabelle Selldorf, John Pawson and many other revered designers. The common denominator in each project is that their clients have extremely high expectations and exacting standards.
This is certainly the case in the contemporary arts world, which Westgreen first entered with a project for Antony Gormley in 2006. Westgreen’s first gallery project was for Gagosian Gallery in 2010 which has led to multiple other commissions for them and others, including Pace, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Blain|Southern, Alan Cristea, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Gallery of Australia and other exclusive galleries. These contracts have featured exhibition fit-outs, art fabrication as well as construction projects which always require a precise finish and adherence to tight deadlines.
Last year, Westgreen completed their first dance studio – the headquarters of Studio Wayne McGregor in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Wayne McGregor is a global superstar in terms of dance and choreography so the quality in both the dance facilities and the office space had to be show-stopping.
This is also the case for Westgreen’s high-profile retail brands and to date they have completed flagship Mayfair stores for world class brands including ETRO, Ermenegildo Zegna, Holly Hunt, Jessica McCormack and, recently, Sophie Hulme in the historic Burlington Arcade. Now, restaurants are becoming something of a specialty for Westgreen and their work with the River Café helped them secure this current project on the Duke of York Restaurant.
David Cardoso, Marketing Manager at Westgreen, said:
“At Westgreen, we can rise to any challenge and find a solution for any problem. Our experienced team not only have expertise; they also have creativity. Our project teams are constantly exceeding client expectations by finding innovative ways to deliver challenging projects on time, on budget and to the highest quality.
“For the period of any contract we consider ourselves part of the local community and so if possible, we like to give something back. On the Duke of York Restaurant we were proud to offer logistical support to the annual Sleep Out event for Glass Door, which works with homeless people in west London.”