Studio east dining

London carmody groarke

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting


1 Commissioning, procurement and delivery.
The Studio East pop-up restaurant came out of a unique collaboration. Bistrotheque, the client, and Carmody Groarke had been discussing collaborating on a joint project since meeting in 2009. We had already designed the Double Club, a contemporary art project in the form of a temporary nightclub experience, and the Skywalk, a three-day events pavilion at the British Museum for the 2008 London Festival of Architecture, so this project evolved through conversations about a dining experience within a new-build temporary architectural pavilion.

Sited atop the Westfield Stratford City development, the design had to take into account a very short construction time, the short life span of the restaurant, and the need for it to return to a construction site afterwards. And all of this had to be executed within one of the largest building sites in London. To do this, we worked with specialist subcontractors and temporary works contractors already on the site. We made a full-scale mockup of a single space to agree all of the setting out rules for the project and qualitative details, and resolved many of the scaffolding junctions and intersections on site.

2 The brief and the response.
Collaborating closely with Bistrotheque, we developed a form and internal arrangement that worked for both the dining experience and the pragmatic requirements of running a kitchen and service. The large dining area, seating 150 guests, is broken into smaller rooms proportioned to the scale of each of the dining room tables, allowing everyone to connect without it feeling like a wedding marquee.

The structure is seen from all sides, so it was conceived as a pavilion without front or back.

The angular roof form was generated from the orientations of the dining rooms and created a spectacular silhouette against the West London sunset. From within, the intimate dining spaces frame breathtaking panoramic views of the Olympic Stadium and the metropolis that is London. With a three-week life span, it seemed appropriate to use materials from the building site to construct the pavilion’s form. The primary scaffolding structure and scaffolding boards used to create the walls and floors of the dining rooms are all hired; the cladding material is a semi-transparent membrane that can be 100 percent recycled. All these materials give warmth and character to the interior but, just as importantly, are all returned to the site afterwards and recycled without any waste.

3 Working across cultures.
As a London-based studio, working in London, the design of Studio East Dining represents a specific approach to space, light and material which relates to the context of this project and its unique brief and circumstances. This will continue to be the ambition of our work irrespective of geographic locations and particular environments, contexts and histories.

Architect Carmody Groarke.
Client Bistrotheque and Westfield UK.
Photography Luke Hayes.



Published online: 1 Sep 2010


Architecture Australia, September 2010

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