Chiswick House Café
London, United Kingdom 2006–2010
Client: English Heritage Grade I listed setting RIBA London Building of the Year
Caruso St John was commissioned by Historic England (formerly English Heritage) to design a new café building within the historic gardens of Chiswick House in West London. The new café was part of a wider masterplan for the regeneration of the whole of Chiswick Gardens, a site of international importance, both as the location of great innovations in English landscape design and as the setting for one of the most beautiful houses in London.
The masterplan involved the restoration of the historic landscape and garden buildings, and the addition of new facilities including the café, so that the operation of the garden could be brought into a sustainable balance and its condition could be permanently maintained. The new café building is located close to Chiswick House on the east side, where stable buildings once stood. The project involved both the building and its garden setting. The L-shaped plan of the building frames the corner of an open lawn on the south side, connecting the café site visually to the house and the surrounding historic gardens.
The cafe has a stone colonnade across its main elevations, terminating in a portico-like front. Its elevation recalls the arcaded façades of the stable wings of country villas in the Veneto, such as Palladio’s Villa Angarano, and through these references makes a strong spatial link back to the main house. The colonnade provides a space for covered exterior seating around the main room of the cafe, from where visitors have a panoramic view south of the surrounding lawns and mature trees.
Chiswick House & Gardens
Chiswick House Cafe has won a Civic Trust Award.
Nottingham Contemporary and Chiswick House Cafe have been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.
London, United Kingdom
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Rod Heyes, Ah-Ra Kim
Roger Parker Associates
Press and Starkey
Siday Construction Ltd
RIBA English Heritage Award
RIBA London Building of the Year
Civic Trust Award
Nominated, EU Mies van der Rohe Award