20 June 2010

Studio East Dining – A Perfectly Proportioned Pop Up Restaurant

Perched precariously above the sludge and sounds of the London Olympic site something new stirs Last week saw the opening of a new and exclusive rooftop dining experience in London, Studio East Dining.  However, if you want to partake of the many pleasures available at Studio East Dining, then you will have to be quick.  The purpose built pavilion will close down on 4 July.

So, a restaurant that will be open for just three weeks?  What is the thinking behind that? It is the brainchild of Westfield Stratford City and Bistroteque, the hugely popular French restaurant in Camden Town.  Bistroteque were the pioneers of what has become known as pop-up restaurants – eating spaces that last just a temporary few weeks.

The architects are RIBA award winning Carmody Groarke and the temporary pavilion offers amazing views of London’s key landmarks.  Carmody Groarke are a young firm of architects who are best known for their 7/7 memorial situated in the city’s Hyde Park. The restaurant is an ingenious set of boxes which, clad in polythene and scaffolding, radiate in to a starburst shape.

Rooftop dining is something of a rarity in London and this is an exquisite addition.  The pavilion overlooks the 2012 Olympic Park which is still under construction. The menu is something finished to perfection, however.  Diners have been spoiled by summery, communal feasts prepared by the head chef of Bistroteque, Tom Collins.

The private dining rooms seat up to thirty people and have their own dedicated staff who ensure that guests stay looked after as they admire the pavilion itself and the views it offers.  There are two gallery spaces: the cocktail gallery looks to the north east of the city while the dining gallery overlooks the Olympic stadium and the stunning skyline of London.

The restaurant is perfectly proportioned and shaped to take full advantage of the views, yet it also retains a privacy and closeness which are necessary for the dining experience. The architectural design ensures that the views do not commandeer the experience of good dining but the form of the restaurant creates a sense of inclusion which is fortified by the enormity of the views on its exterior.

Some of the features may seem rather spit and sawdust – but that seems to be part of the overall design plan rather than an indication of any sloppiness.  The sheer amount of plastic, scaffolding and bare wood is a very cool juxtaposition with the ongoing building of the Olympic site the restaurant overlooks.

The restaurant is, however, just part of a cultural initiative by Westfield Stratford City which hopes to identify and then support emerging artistic talent in East London.  Artists and creative innovators will have the opportunity to have their work embedded in the fabric of London’s Olympic Park and this is part of a showcase for this new talent.

Kuriositas would like to thank Flickr users Jamesup and FJ!! for giving us their kind permission to reproduce the pictures above.  They both have very cool photostreams - why not pay them a visit?