daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof

the owo welcomes a grand courtyard and pavilion in london 

 

Opening on Friday, September 29th, 2023, The OWO (former Old War Office) in Whitehall, London, has undergone a monumental transformation and will be home to nine destination restaurants and three bars, a 120-room Raffles London Hotel, and 85 Raffles branded residences. Its uplifted look is signed by DaeWha Kang Design (DKD), revealing a Grand Courtyard that welcomes visitors into The OWO complex and a sculptural Pavilion, home to a bar and dining space for Moma Group’s Parisien restaurant Café Lapérouse. Considering its historical context, housing a 20th-century William Young building, the Pavilion’s rippling metal design brings dynamism to the heavy formal architecture, creating an oasis of life and activity within Whitehall. At the same time, the reflective metal roof achieves a mirage effect, reducing visual intrusiveness on the surroundings. 

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof
all images © Kyungsub Shin

 

 

circular glass facade crowned with a stainless steel roof

 

DaeWha Kang Design (see more here) resorted to stainless steel panels for the roof structure and wrapped the circular facades with finely crafted glass, endowing The OWO café-bar pavilion (more here) with a sleek and porous aesthetic, inviting a two-way dynamic between passersby and diners. A sculptural skylight marks the center of the roof, allowing natural light to flood the interior unified under finely crafted plaster. According to the architect, the concept recalls the feeling of being inside a Georgia O’Keefe painting, with softly ribbed white columns developing into petals that radiate to form the entire ceiling, providing a charming backdrop for the Café Lapérouse designed by the renowned Cordelia de Castellane.

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof
The OWO Pavilion boasts a rippling metal roof with a skylight

 

 

DaeWha Kang Design looks to durability, disassembly & yin-yang

 

Although materials in this project were selected for their long-term durability, the design was also created with disassembly and afterlife in mind. The entire structure is prefabricated and can be quickly taken apart for maintenance and replacement, and could even be entirely relocated in the future if needed. The metalwork is finished with Aston Martin paint, giving the nod back to the James Bond link with the building. The studio also created a five-meter-wide sculptural fountain in the Grand Courtyard of the complex, providing the yin to the yang of the pavilion through the interplay of a natural water body and reflected metal waves, a captivating sight for The OWO visitors.

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof
a five-meter-wide fountain complementing the reflective design of the Pavilion

 

 

Finally, the existing courtyard cobblestones, on which Winston Churchill and T.E Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia, once walked when heading to work each day, have been carefully preserved and re-laid into a contemporary pattern — echoing the shimmering, petal-inspired roof of the café-bar. Dutch-based firm Octatube collaborated with the architecture firm on crafting the pavilion structure, jointly with London-based Arup, who provided its expertise in engineering, acoustics, lighting, and sustainability. 

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof
The OWO officially opens on September 29, 2023

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof
using stainless steel panels for the roof

daewha kang design tops the OWO café-bar pavilion in london with a rippling metal roof
Café Lapérouse interiors designed by Cordelia de Castellane

the-owo-designboom-full-1

 

project info:

 

name: Grand Courtyard and Café Lapérouse Pavilion 
location: The OWO @raffleslondon.theowo, Whitehall, London, UK

architecture: DaeWha Kang Design (DKD)@daewhakangdesign

design team: DaeWha Kang, Monika Bilska, Michal Wojtkiewicz, Laura Dinarés Couto, Lawrence Lynch
Argyrios Delithanasis, Patricia de Osma, Styliani Salta, Eduardo Camarena, Leroy J.H. Yuen
Chiara Multari, Weronika Widenska, Josef Stoger, Monika Byra, Finbar Charleson, Paulina Pawlata

DKD lead designer & prooject lead: Michal Wojtkiewicz & Monika Bilska

heritage consultant: Donald Insall Associates

planning consultant: Gerald Eve

engineering, lighting, acoustics, & sustainability consultant: Arup

main building and quadrangle team: EPR/Aecom

facade contractor: Octatube

interior pavilion design: Cordelia de Castellane

landscape design: Marcus Barnett Studio

accessibility consultant: Butler & Young Consultants

fire consultant: Jensen Hughes

IT/AV consultants: PTS Global

security consultant: QCIC

access & maintenance consultant: Orsa

photographer: Kyungsub Shin

project period: 2018-2023

site area: 950 sqm
gross floor area: 160 sqm

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