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London, UK – Summer fling: Carmody Groarke's pop-up restaurant in east London

Carmody Groarke observes the Olympic site from its pop-up London project

This ‘pop-up’ restaurant designed by London-based architect Carmody Groarke makes the most of its audacious location - the 35m-high top deck of the incomplete Westfield Stratford City development in east London, overlooking the site of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Choosing not to respond to the panorama with a single big window, the structure gains distinction through the arrangement of projecting wings that rise up to capture key views. Internally, these timber-lined bays create conjoined dining rooms, each with its own vista.

A number of sites were considered for the restaurant, Studio East Dining - the brainchild of London eatery Bistrotheque. Eventually, in collaboration with developer Westfield, this site was selected and Carmody Groarke was commissioned to design and coordinate the construction of a fully functioning 800m² venue, just eight weeks before it was due to open.

With such a short construction period, expediency became a mantra for the architectural language. Carmody Groarke relaxed its usual insistence on precision to focus on reusable building components; the structure is made from standard scaffold poles and planks, clad in an industrial-white, shrink-wrapped membrane and illuminated with chandeliers fashioned from builders’ lamps.

For the three weeks straddling the summer solstice, Studio East Dining will host 140 seated guests per night. It is, of course, a sell-out, with practice director Kevin Carmody confirming, ‘even before a press release was written, 1,700 of the 2,000 tickets had already been taken up’. Blink and you’ve already missed it.

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