Holland Park Café
Feilden+Mawson were appointed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to design a new café in Holland Park. The purpose of the new café was to replace an older building that had originally been designed as a temporary solution and that had lasted well beyond its intended lifespan.
Holland Park had previously been the grounds the Grade I listed remains of Holland House, first built in 1605. The new Café was designed within the historic Dutch Garden adjacent to the west wing of Holland House and is entered through the Grade I listed arcade. The café was built up against the north face of the old wall, thus protecting the arcade wall from the saturation it had suffered previously each winter.
The café follows the park’s contours over a series of terraces and its unusual shape is defined by the historic brick wall that forms the back wall. It is experienced as a seamless sequence of inter-related internal and external spaces and is fully glazed to maximize the views out and links to the terraces. The materials used were chosen to complement both the Park surroundings and Holland House, and to minimize any impact upon the historic setting. These included untreated cedar cladding, terne-coated steel roofing, and granite for the floor and external terrace.
We were also able to relocate the Eric Gill sculpture ‘The Maid’, previously in an obscure location under the arches, it was placed within the café. This provided a focal point and centerpiece to the café, whilst allowing for the sculpture to fully appreciated by visitors.