Stop 13: Bluebird - Daydreaming on the King’s Road
16 — 24 Sept 2023
Architecture / Landscape, Urban Design
This is stop number 13 of 14 in the Design Trail 'Daydreaming on the King’s Road', a walk through time and design supported by Cadogan and King's Road Partnership.
There is a small bluebird icon placed on each side of two posts which outline the entrance and exit to what was once the Bluebird Garage. The Bluebird Garage was the largest automobile garage in Europe when it was built in 1923 at what was considered the end of London (Worlds End). If the birds could talk they would tell you about the Garage’s many well-to-do customers, some staying overnight here whilst their cars were serviced before driving from the city to the countryside. In more recent years the Bluebird Garage has been a destination for shopping and eating, thanks to the visionary design entrepreneur Terence Conran. It’s fair to say that Conran had an interest in these industrial automobile buildings, he also bought the Michelin (tyres) Building nearby on Fulham Road, which was home to the first Conran Shop for many years and still houses Bibendum restaurant and Oyster Bar. The Bluebird was something else - a fashionable restaurant on the first floor (impossible to get a table when it opened in 1997), more casual cafe and fine food shop on the ground floor, and later, London’s first concept store The Shop at Bluebird. Despite the lack of transport (there is no tube stop nearby) the Bluebird was a destination everyone wanted to go to in the 2000s. The Shop housed an eclectic mix of brands; fresh new designers mixed with high fashion names such Prada and Comme de Garcons, it was an entirely different offering to anything else in London. Sadly the Shop at Bluebird is no more but its influence lives on in the area. This part of the King's Road is known particularly by interior designers and stylists who travel to the beautiful furniture shop Sigmar at 263 King's Road and its well-known neighbour, Designers Guild.