Descending Walls of Glass in the Duke of York Square in Chelsea

The Vardo Restaurant in the Duke of York Square has been completed

The long-awaited Cadogan Pavilion, commissioned by the Cadogan Estates, has been completed. This £5.2 million project included a Descending Window system which formed the floor to ceiling curved glass walls which retract down into the ground. This curved glazing system creates a ‘dining with no boundaries’ environment which provides diners with a seamless indoor-outdoor dining experience.

Vardo restaurant in duke of york square, chelsea

The Vardo restaurant, which gets its name from Romani travelling wagons that travelled the globe collecting spices and produce in the 1800s, offers a broad variety of ‘well-travelled’ dishes with influences from across the world. Their centralised bar also serves a selection of wines and cocktails which take influence from Northern India, Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, Russia and central Europe.

The new Vardo restaurant in the Duke of York Square is designed in a curvilinear form which ascends from the pavement to form a rooftop garden. The commercial façade of this building is designed with large elevations of glazing in between each off-white pillar. The curved glass facades are made from the descending window system which sees the full elevation of glass sink down into the basement below the restaurant.

vargo restaurant in Chelsea, Hirt Swiss Descending Windows

The restaurants spiralling architectural design is manufactured from pre-cast concrete which has an off-white finish. The curved façade has a series of arched openings that are filled with curved glazing that sinks down into the floor. When the glazing is retracted, the restaurant is completely open to give the diners a completely open dining experience.

vargo restaurant in chelsea, curved glass facade system

The curved design of this Vardo restaurant includes a curved staircase that leads up to a rooftop terrace from the Duke of York Square. The rooftop is designed with light-toned wooden cladding, benches and flooring which is a perfect continuation of the indoor-outdoor dining environment that is offered by the restaurant.

The Vardo restaurant at the Duke of York Square boasts the only curved retracting wall of glass in the world! There are retractable glass facades throughout the globe however they all use straight panes of glass. The development of the curved glass descending facades took hours of research to ensure the functionality and performance of the glass façade system.

Vargo Restaurant in Chelsea, retracting curved glass facades

When stripped back, the base mechanism system of the descending window is not dissimilar to a traditional weighted sash window. The glazing sinks down into a basement trench which houses the glass panes and mechanism when the glass is retracted, this trench design also stores the large steel counterweights used for the automation of the sinking glass façade design.

To see the Descending Window in person, simply visit the Vardo Restaurant in the Duke of York Square in Chelsea. The Duke of York Square is located just in front of the Saatchi Gallery and Sloane Square London Underground station.

Photography Credit: Architects Journal


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Shannon Normoyle

As one of the Senior Marketing Executives, Shannon oversees the website and SEO management for IQ and can often be found working on SEO strategies or writing content for the websites. 

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