Cadogan Café Design Competition launched


Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is delighted to announce a two-stage competition to find a design team for a new café at the heart of Duke of York Square, in one of London’s most sophisticated districts.

MRC is managing the competition on behalf of the Cadogan Estate and further details of the project and how to register for the competition are available on the dedicated competition microsite:

The new café project to redevelop the existing café, currently run as a Gelateria Valerie, offers the opportunity to bring world-class design to a key site, which is positioned at the entrance to the main thoroughfare to the Saatchi Gallery, set slightly back from the King’s Road, and a few seconds’ walk from the Peter Jones department store.

Hugh Seaborn, Chief Executive of the Cadogan Estate said, ‘We are keen to identify and support emerging talent whilst providing the opportunity of consulting locally from the outset; this is a pivotal site in one of the most vibrant parts of the capital and we are looking for designers with flair and originality, qualities associated the world over with the spirit of Chelsea.’

Malcolm Reading, who previously ran the competitions for the V&A’s Exhibition Road site, the British Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010 and the Aberdeen City Garden project commented,

‘The existing café has been a great success but can no longer meet the level of demand from visitors and locals. The project has the potential to bring new energies to the Square and create a special sense of place.’

A creative exploration of the project is strongly encouraged along with interesting multi-disciplinary collaborations — architect-led, but including artists. Teams should outline ideas on an additional programme of use(s) and user(s) that will give the café a unique identity.

The café should provide for circa 100 covers (60 outside and 40 inside). Total project costs are estimated to be £2 million, including construction, fit-out, fees, VAT and associated costs.

Competitors have until August 20, 2012 to enter the competition. All entrants must follow the registration procedure as explained on the competition website.

From the responses a shortlist of five to seven teams will be chosen to work up concept propositions (for which an honorarium will be paid).

The shortlist will be announced in the autumn and the winning team announced by early December 2012.

For competition press enquiries and photos, please phone Catherine Homsey, in the first instance, on +44 (0) 20 7831 2998 or contact by email at

For enquiries relating to the Cadogan Estate, please contact Jilly Maiklem at


• Originally established more than 300 years ago, the Cadogan Estate today controls 93 acres of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, spanning Chelsea and stretching deep into Knightsbridge. The Estate comprises over 3,100 flats, nearly 200 houses, more than 330 shops and stores and half a million square foot of office space. It takes a long-term interest in the quality of the environment, seeking to maintain the vibrant culture and quality of life in Chelsea, as exemplified by the recent developments of the new concer t hall at Cadogan Hall and the public realm aspects of the Duke of York Square development. For more information please see

• The Duke of York Square development (2001-2006/7) was a phased £120 million redevelopment scheme on the site of the old Duke of York’s Regimental Barracks. A skilful blend of retail, residential, cultural and commercial uses, it integrates several notable listed buildings, including the former Royal Military Asylum, designed by John Sanders (1768-1826), now reinvented as The Saatchi Gallery. Please see