October 5, 2018

The transformation of the Duke of York Restaurant

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Descending windows installed at a restaurant

Descending windows were installed to the prestigious London restaurant

The Duke of York restaurant is located on the Duke of York Square in the heart of Chelsea. The Square has over 30 chic stores, including boutiques and well-known brands, along with a selection of restaurants offering al fresco dining.

Descending windows installed at a restaurant Hirt Descending Windows have been installed at the Duke of York London Restaurant

The existing restaurant building was recently replaced with a brand-new enhanced design, for the award-winning restaurant Vardo, which boasts a roof terrace and a great installed example of the HIRT Swiss Descending Window.

The dynamic spiral design of the café was developed by Nex Architecture and won the New London Architecture Award 2017 in the Hotels and Hospitality category.

The unique design of the Duke of York restaurant is emphasised by the installation of HIRT Swiss Descending Walls that surround the whole dining area of this prestigious restaurant.

The large glass windows lower into the basement to transform the whole ground floor into an outdoor space during the warmer months. Almost silent motors gently slower the large elevations of glass into a specialist ‘parking room’ below floor level – at the restaurant, the glass was parked in the basement rooms that surround the kitchen and private dining rooms.

The Vardo Restaurant in Duke of York Square with 3nr HSDW. The Vardo Restaurant in Duke of York Square with 3nr HSDW.

Now that the restaurant is open we have had the chance to visit and experience the descending windows for ourselves. They are really impressive. Once the weather gets warmer visitors to the restaurant will be able to experience the epitome of indoor-outdoor dining whilst sitting comfortably in the sheltered circular restaurant but will a clear, flush and uncluttered opening to the outdoors.

An internal view of the restaurant with the descending windows. An internal view of the restaurant with the descending windows.

The descending facade creates a completely flat and flush threshold across the top when open, seamlessly merging the internal and external spaces. The descending movement is extremely smooth and swift and with the 4 edge pneumatic air seal around the edges of each opening the sinking windows are extremely weather tight. The day that we visited site there was torrential rain and a busy Kings Road in the background yet none of this could be heard once the HSDW were raised and closed.

curved window to restaurant in London The restaurant is right beside Kings Road.

The curved facades of glass that lower below the floor are a bespoke design of structural glazing with stainless steel supporting T's on the inside face which is a very nice detail.

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The glass wall was constructed from three HIRT descenders each boasting expansive sizes. Each window measured 8.11 metres wide x 2.95 metres high, with an overall weight of 2,000 kilograms. There are two HIRT systems to choose from, the SF90 offers window sizes of 18m2 and the SFXL offers impressive sizes of up to 40m2!

As you can see, curved glass windows were used for this incredible installation, which means that the glass windows are not limited to linear panes of glass.

The curved glass wall echoes the Grade II large crescent brick wall of the Duke of York Headquarters that stands proud adjacent to the restaurant. The contemporary design of this trendsetting architectural design beautifully juxtaposes the Heritage architecture of the surrounding area.

When the descending walls of glass are parked beneath floor level, all that can be seen is the resulting threshold that is completely flush to the floor level – creating a fluid and seamless transition from inside to outside.

The diners at the restaurant are given a beautifully open dining space with a cover provided by the roof terrace. The rooftop terrace is planted with an abundance of vibrant plants that lift visitors up to the level of the tree canopy. The terrace flows with the curve of the spiralling design of the restaurant which creates a two-level seating area level with the canopy of the surrounding trees.

The HIRT Swiss Descending Windows are exclusively available from IQ Glass in the UK and boast highly impressive levels of modern glazing design.

See them in person... 

To see these incredibly descending windows in person contact IQ who can arrange an exclusive visit the Vardo restaurant in the Duke of York Square in Chelsea adjacent to the Saatchi Art Gallery.