commissioned by chef inars birmanis, architecture firm open AD has designed a vegetarian pop-up restaurant within an unfinished apartment in riga, latvia. dubbed ‘venue 54’, the restaurant makes use of offcuts and construction leftovers in the space, but still succeeds in feeling totally luxurious, thus exemplifying the potential of upcycling.
art by flera birmane complements the interior
all images by alvis rozenbergs
the incomplete apartment, provides an ideal sense of unknown that serves as an axis for the design concept. the architects had previously acquired a collection of offcuts and leftover materials, which were later used for inspiration, as well as the actual construction. the implemented spatial solutions are affordable, adaptable and easy to transport. meanwhile, they are also deeply rooted in the idea of responsible reuse. ‘every piece has the chance at another life after the restaurant shuts its doors for the last time,’ open AD shares.
the restaurant is located on the 20th floor of riga’s ‘philosophers residence’ apartment complex
most of the furniture is handmade, formed as the result of informal on-site workshops under the guidance of lead architect tetere-sulce. for weeks, designer beatrise dzerve, chef birmanis himself, his friends, and craftsmen aldis buss & agnese landrate worked side by side, piecing together what is now presented as furniture and accessories within the interior. with a view to a brighter future when people will gather again, the pieces are made adaptable, fitting perfectly into spaces that can host seminars, larger banquets, and various events.
the sofa was created by designer agnese landrate specifically for this restaurant
in ‘venue 54’ the scaffolding acts both as a room divider, and as a vertical garden space. as part of the brief, chef birmanis specified that he wanted to grow some ingredients on-site, to illustrate that slow living principles can work in an urban environment and that the distance ‘from farm to table’ is in our own hands.
the scaffolding serves as a room divider and also as a vertical garden
having arrived at the table, guests notice the contrast between the table setting and the creative ‘chaos’ of the space. on the other hand, the table setting is designed neatly, to emphasize and complement the beauty of the food. the tableware is from the eclipse line by latvian brand vaidava, in partnership with ceramic artist laima grigone.
in addition to their vegetarian meal, diners get the added bonus of a panoramic view of riga
dishware by latvian brand vaidava ceramics
the table setting is designed to highlight the beauty of the food
the bar area is assembled from leftover construction materials, offcuts, and scaffolding
every item in the interior will have another chance at life, once the restaurant closes its doors
designed to cater for both regular dining and special events, the restaurant comprises different areas
the seat covers not only look good but are also easy to wipe and therefore hygienic
name: venue 54
architects: open AD
project team: zane tetere-sulce (lead architect), beatrise dzerve
location: riga, latvia
edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom