Chiswick House Gardens cafe
by Caruso St John Architects

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Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects

Caruso St John Architects have installed this cafe in the grounds of an English 18th century villa.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects Helen Binet

Top photo is by Richard Bryant
Above photograph by Helen Binet

The new cafe at Chiswick House Gardens inLondon is located to the east of the main house and provides seating for 80 people indoors and a further 100 outside.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects Richard Bryant

Above photograph by Richard Bryant

The stone structure is edged with a deep colonnade, providing some sheltered outdoor seating.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects Helen Binet

Above photograph by Helen Binet

The cafe was built as part of an extensive restoration of the gardens.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects Helen Binet

Above photograph by Helen Binet

Here's some more information from the estate's  managers English Heritage:


£12 million restoration of Chiswick House Gardens unveiled today

New café designed by Caruso St John Architects

The £12 million restoration of Chiswick House Gardens in London is unveiled today, 14 June 2010.

Chiswick House Gardens is a site of international importance both as the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement, and as the setting for one of the most beautiful houses in London. The regeneration of the gardens is a result of many years of campaigning, four years of fund-raising and two years of work on the site.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects Richard Bryant

Above photograph by Richard Bryant

English Heritage (manager of the House) and the London Borough of Hounslow (owner of the Gardens) established The Chiswick House and Gardens Trust as an independent charity to drive forward an ambitious rescue plan for the Gardens and secure its future for the 21st century.

The garden restoration, managed by English Heritage, and supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £7.9 million, recovers the original vistas and design from decades of disrepair and underfunding, and also repairs and restores the statuary and garden buildings. The result is an inspiring balance between a historic landscape and a public park.

Highlights include the planting of over 1,600 trees, including trees propagated from the original 18th century cedars of Lebanon; the opening up of historic views from the Classic Bridge, the complete restoration of the 19th century conservatory housing a rare and internationally important collection of camellias; the planting of native trees and shrubs in the Northern Wilderness, and the restoration of the Walled Gardens, which will be open to the public on special days.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects Richard Bryant

Above photograph by Richard Bryant

To complement the restoration, award-winning architects Caruso St John have designed a new café within the grounds, on a carefully chosen site close to Chiswick House on the east side. The new café provides indoor seating for 80 people and external seating for over 100, and forms the social hub for the park, with a newly created children’s playground beside it.

Chiswick House Gardens, spread over 65 acres, are known throughout the world as the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement and have inspired countless designed landscapes from Blenheim Palace in Oxford, to Central Park in New York. They were originally created by Lord Burlington and William Kent who worked on them throughout the 1720’s and 1730’s as a setting for Lord Burlington’s magnificent Chiswick House, the first and one of the finest examples of neo-Palladian design in England.

Chiswick House Gardens cafe by Caruso St John Architects  clive boursnell

Above photograph by Clive Boursnell

Among the many famous features of the gardens are:

  • Lord Burlington and William Kent’s Western Lawn linking the House and lake, dating from the 18th century.
  • The Inigo Jones Gateway, acquired by Lord Burlington in 1738 from his friend Sir Hans Sloane;
  • The Cascade, an Italian renaissance-style waterfall designed by Burlington and Kent dating from around 1738;
  • Exedra, a lawn lined by alternating cypresses and stone urns closed by a semicircular dark yew hedge, forming a backdrop to Lord Burlington’s collection of ancient Roman and 18th century sculpture;
  • The Lake, crossed by an elegant stone bridge, in a design attributed to James Wyatt;
  • The Raised Terrace, planted with sweet shrubs including roses and honeysuckle which offers celebrated views of the Villa;
  • The Italian Garden, designed by Lewis Kennedy and laid out in 1814, an example of the 19th century experiments in colour theory;
  • The Conservatory, completed in 1813, with the oldest collection of camellias outside China and Japan.

The restoration of the gardens at Chiswick was made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the London Borough of Hounslow, The Wolfson Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation and The Monument Trust, with additional support from many other individuals and organisations.

Chiswick House and Gardens Trust was set up in April 2005 between English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow under the Chairmanship of Rupert Hambro. The creation of the Trust unites the management of the site and its key role is to drive forward the improvements to Chiswick House and Gardens.

Chiswick House Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP


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  • edward

    Sensible approach to the project but somehow the proportions might have been better. They seem crude to me.

  • David

    i generally like caruso st. john but this is a little too severe

  • tanya telford – T

    have seen pictures of the (what I view as very elegant) house but as yet have never been (nor to the gardens which sound really lovely). This new cafe looks modern and understated, I like the simplicity & contrast with the house, (there seems to be some kind of harmonious dialogue between the two buildings regardless of the differences in some of their aesthetics).

  • umm

    This looks like a nicely executed piece of work – and I look forward to visiting, but I’m slightly disappointed that we haven’t been given the opportunity here to see the building in relation to the house, even a site plan.

    Chiswick house in an important and sensitive site, I hope the clients / architects have been sympathetic.

  • felix

    I’ll be going tomorrow. I’ll get some photos of the project and house if I can.

  • hmhm

    Caruso St John are way overrated according to my opinion

  • http://tony-fromhere.blogspot.fr Tony Harding

    The one thing that troubles me is that whilst the original leads the eye to rise upwards the café is plonked firmly on the ground and draws the eye downwards.

    I know it’s only one level but a little less width in the uprights and a more flowing dynamic might have helped to give it a ‘lift’.