A site of major historical significance

Thomas Sinden were appointed as Main Contractor to undertake the construction of a new build café and associated landscaping within the grounds of Grade I listed Chiswick House.  Chiswick House and Gardens are of major historic, architectural and landscape significance.

The project consisted of the erection of a single storey concrete framed structure with a flat roof, which extends over a loggia to two elevations. External works consisted of landscaping adaptions, forming of new roadways and paths, hard paving, forming of a marquee area and fencing.

The new modern spacious café is made of Portland stone and white concrete to echo the light colour of the house and garden buildings.  Glass panels allow idyllic views of the surrounding landscape from within.  The architects demanded a high quality finish to the cast insitu concrete structure.  The timber formwork erected to particularly demanding tolerances to enable the design details to be achieved.  The white concrete required exact gauging and mixing to ensure consistency of colour between batches.

Thomas Sinden worked closely with the client, English Heritage and the architects to achieve a carefully detailed, high quality structure, which can be enjoyed by visitors to the park.  Chiswick House and its curtilage is a Scheduled Monument and the greatest care was exercised to avoid damage to the existing building and grounds.  This project was sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

An archaeological watching brief was maintained during earth moving activities.  Extensive archaeological excavations of the old stable and service buildings took place in order to inform the new café building works, and ensure that the archaeological record was not damaged.  Interesting cellarage and old boundary walls were discovered during the excavations.

Award winning building

This scheme gained national recognition, winning the RIBA London Building of the Year award 2011, Region Building of the Year and a special award from English Heritage for ‘Sustaining the Historic Environment’.  The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) judged Chiswick House Café to be the best new building in London.  The RIBA London Building of the Year Award is given to buildings that ‘demonstrate exceptional quality and distinction’.