The Royal Parks Kiosks
- Saturday 4th September
The Royal Parks Kiosksschedule Time: 10am to 5pm
- Original design
- Mizzi Studio, 2018
We will be launching the 2022 programme in mid-August
In 2017 Mizzi Studio won a competitive tender to transform ten prestigious sites across London’s Royal Parks, with individually crafted, free-standing architectural structures, in partnership with artisan Italian café operators, Colicci.
The high profile commission includes a new landmark café overlooking The Serpentine Lake and a family of nine curvaceous sculptural kiosks, each designed with detailing that responds to the nuances of its site.
In what is the largest mobilisation the Royal Parks has seen in 14 years, the first kiosk was installed in October 2018, then the Serpentine Coffee House in July 2019 and the final kiosk beneath Buckingham Palace in March 2021.
Mizzi Studio has collaborated with Colicci on a number of projects over the years, including the multi award-winning copper café at London’s Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre and The Pheasantry Café within Grade I Listed Bushy Park. Their joint body of work has had a strong focus on craftsmanship, a connection with nature, and creating memorable sculptural moments.
The organic-inspired designs for the new Serpentine Café and family of kiosks respond sympathetically to the Grade I listed landscape and embody the ethos of The Royal Parks as a sustainability leader.
A family of nine kiosks designed by Mizzi Studio mark the entrances to Hyde Park, The Green Park and St James’s Park. The kiosks are conceived as a family of individual forms that are united in their design language, with a 360-degree sculptural canopy that swells out like a tree’s crown creating a recognisable silhouette. The organic-inspired volumes follow a continuous shape with varying degrees of curvature and differing cladding profiles, that provide contrasting textures to the surface. Each design variation is informed by the architectural or organic elements that the kiosk shares its space with.
The flagship Horse Shoe Bend kiosk in St James’s Park, in view of Buckingham Palace, is clad in tubular brass and mirrors the ornate precious metals that adorn Sir Thomas Brock’s Queen Victoria Memorial. The choice of timber cladding for the rest of the family of kiosks rests on the relationship with the park environment.
Mizzi Studio has used sustainable materials and traditional craft techniques, together with state-of-the-art manufacturing methods, to create simple, functional forms that are both striking and elegant. Curvaceous oak cladding has been made by Tom Raffield for a number of the kiosks, using a pioneering steam bending technique.
The Serpentine Coffee House opened in Hyde Park in the summer of 2019 and is a new landmark café with views towards the Serpentine Lake and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. The new Serpentine Coffee House is designed to form an integral part of a journey through The Royal Parks, welcoming visitors as they approach Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens. Providing an immersive architectural resting, refreshment and contemplation point, the café reflects and responds to the park’s Grade I listed landscape.
The Serpentine Coffee House is an open, semi-transparent glass pavilion, evoking the pagoda architecture traditionally seen in Japanese teahouses, which creates a lightness that helps the building to integrate seamlessly into the landscape, resulting in a complete, harmonious design that takes full advantage of its setting.
Its undulating canopy, designed to respond to the movement of the lake, has been hand-painted using specialist techniques to give an aged-brass finish, and is intricately textured on the underside with snakeskin-inspired, coffer-like dimples. Tapered towards its edges, it cantilevers over the glass structure below to create extensive open-air seating, with capacity for 60 people to sit under and around it, within the parkland.
To realise the complex fluid form of the 11 x 9m canopy, Mizzi Studio worked closely with Arup engineers and manufacturer mouldCAM to develop a structural external skin (semi-monocoque) reinforced with carbon and glass fibre, manufactured using a state-of-the-art large format 5-axis CNC milling machine.
Material variation and optimally located arches distribute weight and stress, minimising the contact support points needed and making the canopy appear to float independently above the glass.
The colour palette of the coffee house interior is carefully curated for mindful consumption and to reflect the surrounding environment - further blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. Deep blue tiles behind the bespoke walnut-clad counter, an earthy terrazzo floor, green leather upholstered chairs and Perlino Rosato marble surfaces reflect hues relating to the Serpentine Lake and surrounding trees and flower beds.