As part of a significant public realm enhancement project across London’s Royal Parks, architecture and design practice Mizzi Studio recently saw the installation of a brass tubular food kiosk at the foot of Buckingham Palace, representing the final leg in the project’s completion.
In summer 2017, on behalf of artisan brand Colicci, Mizzi Studio designed the landmark Serpentine Coffee House and a family of nine kiosks for prominent locations within The Royal Parks, London. The kiosks’ installation roll-out began in October 2018, with the final kiosk erected on-site at St James’s Park this month.
Characterising the largest mobilisation The Royal Parks has seen in 14 years, the high-profile commission included the delivery of a coffee house near the Serpentine lake, as well as nine handcrafted kiosks to replace ageing food kiosks on existing sites across Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park. The most recently erected structure, the flagship Horseshoe Bend kiosk in St James’s Park, is clad in tubular brass and mirrors the ornate precious metals of the nearby Sir Thomas Brock’s Queen Victoria Memorial.
Responding to the Grade I listed landscape, Mizzi Studio has designed each kiosk to sit sympathetically in its environment. The freestanding kiosks are conceived as a family of individual curvaceous structures with a graceful tree-like canopy that unites their design language. The initial eight kiosks are clad in hand steam-bent English oak timber, developed in collaboration with British designer and maker Tom Raffield.
The Royal Parks map of Colicci Kiosks designed by Mizzi Studio
In context: Horseshoe Bend Kiosk and The Royal Parks Family Fleet
The kiosks’ 360-degree sculptural canopy swells outwards like a tree’s crown, creating recognisable silhouettes. The organic- inspired volumes follow a continuous shape with varying degrees of curvature and differing cladding profiles, each providing contrasting textures. Each design variation is informed by the architectural or organic elements that the kiosk shares its space with. Together with Colicci’s Director Rob Colicci, Jonathan Mizzi, Director of Mizzi Studio, spent months exploring the parks’ heritage. Each kiosk is unique, tailored to the history, nuances and demographics of its respective site.
The materiality of the Horseshoe Bend kiosk marries with Mizzi Studio’s Serpentine Coffee House, sited metres away from Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery, with views towards the picturesque Serpentine Lake in one direction and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in the other. The coffee house is swooping and sinuous, inspired by both the lake itself and the motion of a stingray’s flight. Its sculptural brass roof gives the appearance of a giant golden cape being pulled through the air over the entire structure, bringing movement and texture to the verdant landscape in which it sits.
Mizzi Studio has collaborated with Colicci on a number of projects over the years, including the multi award-winning copper café at London’s Westfield Stratford shopping centre and The Pheasantry Café within Grade I Listed Bushy Park. Their joint body of work has had a strong focus on craftsmanship, a connection with nature, and creating memorable sculptural moments.
“The installation of the final Horseshoe Bend Kiosk marks a significant moment for the Colicci brand, as well as our longstanding relationship with Mizzi Studio,” said Colicci Director, Rob Colicci. “The Royal Parks hold a special place in the hearts of city dwellers and people who visit the capital from near and far. The richness of the brass kiosk echoes Colicci’s dedication to quality food and drink and highlights our belief in the relationship between excellence in design and service – each positively reinforcing one another. We look forward to seeing the kiosks being enjoyed by park-goers once again come the summer months, uniting families through their warmth and magnetism.”
Jonathan Mizzi, Director and Founder of Mizzi Studio remarked: “The Horseshoe Bend Kiosk marks the conclusion of our studio’s most significant commission in London to-date. But more importantly, it signals a new chapter for Londoners and visitors alike – a chapter of hope and belonging. We believe public architecture can restore mental well-being, bring people together, and we are grateful to Colicci and The Royal Parks for allowing us the opportunity to offer a network of nature-inspired landmarks that people can turn to, enjoy, and unite amongst.”
Commenting on the partnership with Mizzi Studio and Colicci, Andrew Varnava, Head of Catering Contracts at The Royal Parks, said: “It has been an amazing journey with Colicci and Mizzi Studios through the various stages of concept and design meetings, installation and finally seeing the new fleet of kiosks in use. Working collaboratively, we have been able to achieve the installation of these fantastic kiosks, designed to be in keeping with the parks’ natural environment, and we now boast an expanded and impressive range of high-quality food and drink for the thousands of visitors who come to our parks every day. The Mizzi and Colicci teams have been a pleasure to work with.”