Inn The Park Restaurant – London

Inn The Park is a contemporary British cafe set in St. James Park, arguably the jewel of London’s Royal Parks. With such a beautiful and historic setting, Hopkins Architects set out to create a modern building that worked with the original intentions of Nash’s 1828 design.

Inn The Park works in a series of layers. The teardrop shape of the building is taken from the intersection of Nash’s sweeping paths with the South colonnade following the curve of the lakeside path and completed by taking the Horse Guards Parade path as the rear of the building. The grassed roof runs from the park up to the roof terrace so that from The Mall (the avenue leading to Buckingham Palace) the building is perceived as a piece of landscape.

The building makes extensive use of timber internally and externally as a key contribution to the ecological aims of the design. PEFC certified Austrian larch was chosen for use externally due to its long life span and because it can be used without coating. Its warm eye-catching colour helps create an instantly visible building. Internally, the timber has been sealed with very environmentally friendly organic tung (China) oil. The wood floors are Junckers red oak oiled with modified soya oil. The use of timber as the primary structure and envelope of the building was a choice that required significant innovation, with absolute precision needed for stainless steel flitching and laminating the columns.