A courtyard pavilion at The OWO provides the perfect outdoor centrepiece

A courtyard pavilion housing Café Lapérouse at The OWO is an architectural feat by DaeWha Kang Design

courtyard pavilion of cafe laperouse at OWO in London
(Image credit: Kyungsub SHIN)

A new courtyard pavilion has become the perfect centrepiece, placed at the heart of The OWO, the newly reimagined former Old War Office in London’s prestigious Whitehall. Welcome to the London outpost of Moma Group’s Parisian eatery Café Lapérouse, and its light-touch, high-impact home created by locally based architecture studio DaeWha Kang Design. 

The OWO's courtyard pavilion by DaeWha Kang Design

The low and airy pavilion faces the tall, formal façades of The OWO Residences by Raffles on one side, and Raffles London at The OWO on the other. Its biophilic, rippling forms and polished mirror effect roof reflect the surrounding historic architecture, which was originally designed by William Young in the early 20th century, while adding playfulness and dynamism to the composition. 

courtyard pavilion at OWO

(Image credit: Kyungsub SHIN)

Practice founder DaeWha Kang crafted the structure’s intriguing shape out of stainless steel roof panels and bespoke glass, while inside the venue, French culinary offerings are served in a light-filled environment surrounded by a family of curvaceous columns. ‘The concept was to imagine being inside a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, with softly ribbed white columns developing into petals that radiate to form the entire ceiling, providing a beautiful setting for the Café Lapérouse interior designed by Cordelia de Castellane complemented by delicate landscaping that provides a backdrop for al fresco dining,’ says Kang. 

The pavilion was manufactured by Dutch firm Octatube, and created with the help of engineers Arup in London. Its afterlife was carefully considered too. The prefabricated main body was conceived to be easily disassembled for maintenance and replacement. ‘[It] could even be relocated in full in the future if needed,’ Kang points out.  



Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).