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NEX wins Cadogan café contest

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Up-and-coming practice NEX Architecture has won the high-profile contest to design a £2 million café in Duke of York Square on London’s King’s Road

The studio saw off Architecture 00:/, Carmody Groarke, Duggan Morris, TaylorSnell and Pernilla Ohrstedt to win the Malcolm Reading-organised competition.

NEX’s ‘organic coiled’ design features a roof terrace and a glass wall which rises and falls depending on the weather.

Hugh Seaborn, chief executive of project backer Cadogan Estate, said: ‘The Jury was won over by NEX’s design, which combines functionality with a sense of elegant self-containment – their building will be sleek as well as inventive and fun.

‘We think it will intrigue passers-by and become a mini-landmark on the King’s Road. We look forward to working with the team as they develop their design for planning.’

Competition organiser Malcolm Reading said: ‘The jury engaged in an architectural discussion with the teams that far exceeded the brief. This competition was exceptional in producing diverse, creative solutions but, nonetheless, we arrived at a unanimous decision.’

NEX director Alan Dempsey said he was ‘delighted’ to win the ‘hard fought’ competition. ‘It was a challenging brief to respond to, and we were fascinated by the opportunity of mixing leisure and public realm uses in such a concentrated form.’

He added: ‘After thorough analysis, we were convinced that the best approach was an architecture which resonated with the architectural heritage of the site, while providing a contemporary space that has flexibility for year round use.’

This was the best competition we’ve entered

‘This was the best competition we’ve entered and we are very much looking forward to working with the Cadogan Estate and designing in dialogue with them for a renewed café and Duke of York Square.’

NEX’s team included AKT II, Equals Cost Consultants, Atelier 10, DHA Design and The Enterprise Collective at the University of the Arts Chelsea. The practice will work Cadogan Estate to develop the design for the new café.

Intriguingly the judges agreed with the AJ readers who also picked the NEX scheme as their favourite. The scheme received 32.4 per cent of votes in an online poll.

Duggan Morris came second with 27.9 per cent.

Winner: NEX: ‘Finished in bespoke herringbone tile, the wall will trace an arc to coil around itself and envelop a space, progressing to the outside in layers.’

Winner: NEX: ‘Finished in bespoke herringbone tile, the wall will trace an arc to coil around itself and envelop a space, progressing to the outside in layers.’

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