Nex Architecture's sculptural restaurant transforms for al fresco dining

Nex Architecture has created a sculptural restaurant with curved glazed façades that open up for al fresco dining and a roof garden that adds a new element of public realm to the local area.

The restaurant is located in a public square in the prestigious Chelsea area of London, with developer Cadogan Estates briefing that the building should be both distinctive and a focal point for the square.

It is named Vardo after the Romani travelling wagons of the 1800s, referencing their openness and informed by the materials they used, like canvas, natural woods, stones, fabrics and plant-life.

The curved, free-standing structure is composed of off-white concrete, with large arches around its outside giving it a pergola-like form.

It is designed to act as a conceptual continuation of a nearby Grade II listed wall and also references a nearby Grade II listed department store.

The restaurant's arches allow it to be opened up to the outside, with three curved glass panels that retract into the ground.

A bespoke steel frame prevented the need for horizontal mullions, protecting the integrity of the unique glazed elements and the design as a whole.

An external staircase built into the side of the structure, meanwhile, leads to a rooftop garden that is open to the public with greenery, timber decking and seating.

At night, the garden is illuminated with soft external lighting.

Inside, Vardo sits 100 covers split between its street-level dining room and a more intimate private dining room downstairs with wood panelling, quilted walls and vintage lighting.

The street-level space is flooded with natural light and the interior is fitted with wooden fixtures, an ash slatted ceiling and terrazzo flooring.

Nex Architecture  restaurant 
Nex Architecture has created a sculptural restaurant with curved glazed façades that open up for al fresco dining and a roof garden that adds a new element of public realm to the local area. The restaurant is located in a public square in the prestigious Chelsea area of London, with developer Cadogan Estates briefing that the building should be both distinctive and a focal point for the square. It is
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Vardo is named after the Romani travelling wagons of the 1800s / James Brittain
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Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
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