The GHID Blog

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Behind The Design: Winter-Only Pop-Up Restaurant Design

Every year for the last three years, a restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has held an international competition to design a pop-up restaurant that only stays around for the winter. The restaurant is called RAW:almond, and UK design firm OS31 has designed a structure that will be the first ever restaurant situated on top ofa frozen body of water.

RAW:almond is a temporary contemporary restaurant where some of the top chefs of Winnipeg will be collaborating to celebrate the beauty of our wonderful winter city on the ice. Each night chefs will be paired with chef Mandel Hitzer to create the 'coolest' culinary experience. The iconic dining hall, located at the corner of the Assiniboine and Red River, leans into the North Wind to help buffer against the elements. From the first to the last course and each glass of wine, this will prove the dining experience of the year.

Award-Winning Restaurant Interior Design

The design that OS31 submitted was interesting for a variety of reasons. The actual shape of the structure is something like an X or cross shape, and is meant to represent where the Assiniboine and Red rivers cross. The structure itself is made from a metal frame that has a protective skin on the inside, rather than out, making the structure appear lined from the outside. No one seems to know yet what material is being used, but many are curious about what will be protecting the restaurant's patrons from the elements. The four sections of the cross will also be for different uses. Two of them will house the dining area (which will seat about 60 people), one holds the bar (which is accessible via a terrace), and finally contains the kitchen.

Interiors That Help Elevate The Customer Experience On Chilly Nights

Despite the fact that it will be well below freezing when guests sit down for their food, RAW:almond promises that the food will arrive warm and fresh from the kitchen, which is impressive considering the fact that at each event, over 60 people will be served at one time! What makes this even more impressive? It's a five course meal!

Behind The Shape Of The Building

Designed by UK architects OS31. The project team includes Tony Broomhead, Matt Pearson, and Ross Jordan.

The design creates an expressive frame that floats across the ice like a frozen jetty, whilst providing a dining experience that is clear from structure.

The exterior and interior are expressed as separate forms, one enclosed inside the other. The structure references the bridge with its repetitive rhythms. The skin that defines the interior space is more sculptural like drifts of snow.

The plan is made up of two clashing geometries inspired by the joining of the rivers. This grounds it in the context and defines dining, kitchen and entrance spaces.

The restaurant is set to open to the public on January 22, 2015. Tickets can be bought on the RAW:almond website for $100, plus tax and tip.