Daewha Kang Design Tops the OWO Café-Bar Pavilion in London with a Rippling Metal Roof

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The OWO (previously known as the Old War Office) in Whitehall, London, is set to open its doors on September 29, 2023, after undergoing a massive transformation. The iconic building will be home to a variety of amenities, including nine destination restaurants, three bars, a Raffles London Hotel with 120 rooms, and 85 Raffles branded residences.

Renowned architecture firm DaeWha Kang Design (DKD) has left its mark on the building’s new look, introducing a stunning Grand Courtyard and a sculptural Pavilion. The Pavilion, which houses a bar and dining space for Café Lapérouse, a popular Parisian restaurant owned by Moma Group, brings a fresh and dynamic design to the historical context of the William Young building from the 20th century. The Pavilion’s fluid and rippling design creates a lively and vibrant atmosphere within the formal architecture of Whitehall. The reflective metal roof of the Pavilion also achieves a mirage effect, blending seamlessly with the surroundings.

DKD utilized stainless steel roof panels and finely crafted glass facades for the Pavilion. A sculptural skylight takes center stage on the roof, allowing natural light to illuminate the interior spaces. Inspired by the works of artist Georgia O’Keefe, the design features softly ribbed white columns that resemble petals, creating an enchanting backdrop for Cafe Lapérouse, which has been designed by Cordelia de Castellane.

The architects focused not only on aesthetics and durability but also on sustainability and adaptability. The Pavilion’s entire structure is prefabricated and can be easily disassembled for maintenance and replacement. If necessary, it could even be relocated in its entirety. The metalwork of the Pavilion is finished with Aston Martin paint, a nod to the building’s connection to the James Bond franchise. Additionally, DKD collaborated with Dutch-based firm Octatube and engineering firm Arup to create a five-meter-wide sculptural fountain in the Grand Courtyard. This fountain complements the reflective design of the Pavilion, providing an eye-catching spectacle for visitors.

Preserving the building’s historical significance, the original cobblestones that Winston Churchill and T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, once walked on when going to work have been carefully preserved and re-laid in a contemporary pattern. This pattern echoes the petal-inspired design of the cafe-bar.

With its grand opening scheduled for September 29, 2023, The OWO promises to be a stunning addition to the London skyline. Visitors will be able to enjoy a unique experience, combining history, contemporary design, and a wide range of amenities.

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