Full circle: Nex Architecture and Cadogan plan a new King’s Road cafe

Kings Road cafe
Nex Architecture have won an international competition to design a brand new cafe off the King’s Road in Chelsea. The plan has been conceived for developers Cadogan
(Image credit: TBC)

A popular destination for shopping and leisurely strolls, the King's Road in Chelsea might be soon getting a brand new attraction; the Duke of York Square scheme's developers, Cadogan, have teamed up with Nex Architecture to propose a contemporary cafe pavilion for the London plaza.

Building on the area's redevelopment – originally completed in 2004 – should it come to existence, the new cafe will be joining the area's bustling street life, which includes public areas, shops and restaurants, as well as one of the neighborhood's key cultural attractions, the Saatchi Gallery.

The architects were chosen via an international competition held back in 2012. Nex Architecture scooped first place out of a total of some 150 entries. The independently run cafe will feature a soft and welcoming, curvaceous design as well as an 'innovative glass façade, which will lower into a single storey basement during fine weather, the first of its kind in the UK', explains the developer.

The pavilion will also include a circular roof terrace open to the public, offering even more green space for visitors to relax and take in the area's views from above.

'Our approach ensures that the new cafe resonates with the architectural heritage of the site, while providing a contemporary space that has flexibility for year round use,' explains Nex Architecture's Alan Dempsey. '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 feel as one with the surrounding area, merging holistically with the existing space to create a large al fresco seating area.'

A two-day public exhibition in Duke of York Square will display the proposal for the new cafe on the 4 and 6 February, offering the public an opportunity to review and give feedback on the design, which is scheduled to be submitted for planning later in the year.

Kings Road cafe interior

The project features a UK first – an ’innovative glass façade, which will lower into a single storey basement during fine weather’, explain the architects

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information, visit Cadogan Cafe’s website  

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).