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Studio East Dining by Carmody Groarke, Stratford, Northeast London, UK

Emerging Architecture Awards 2010: Winner

Academics have long argued architecture is experienced not just first-hand, but through magazines, films, even the internet - a point our Studio East Dining coverage appears to be pursuing in extremis.

This is our third feature on a project that was only open for three weeks, and that we’ve only ever shown after its closure. Preceding October’s building study was a summer news item, but even then the restaurant had served its last dinner.

The client had intended the venue to draw attention to the forthcoming opening of the vast Westfield shopping centre by London’s Olympic Park; that it has also attracted critical acclaim recognises the inventive approach of its designers, Carmody Groarke.

The architects used materials mostly found on the construction site: the structure from everyday scaffolding; the flooring and tables, planks. The whole is composed of a dozen extruded forms, their widths scaled to a dining-table conversation. An unlikely poem on transitions in the dusk light is rendered by the translucent weatherproofing.

The project has now disappeared, subsumed into the building materials from whence it came. ‘It’s a shame it’s gone,’ said juror Daniel Bonilla. ‘It would have been interesting to keep it or move it.’ Surrounded by an Olympic Park consciously lunging for a legacy, such modesty is extremely refreshing.

Architect Carmody Groarke
Photography Christian Richters

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