The brief for Undercover Architecture was to create a new restaurant at the Old Spitalfields Market in London that challenged what the experience of dining in a seafood restaurant could be. The idea of ‘sea-to-plate’ dining: serving fresh seafood from seawater tanks within the restaurant was the starting point for telling the story of the Wright Brothers’ oyster farming history through all scales of the design.
The Wright Brothers restaurant sits across two original brick-lined historic market units. The biggest challenge was making these two narrow spaces into a cohesive single restaurant.
This was done by making new openings in the central wall, and a 21 metre long marble counter that runs continuously through the centre of the restaurant, over which oysters are shucked straight to diners’ plates from a raised platform providing a bird’s eye view of the chefs at work.
The result is an assortment of dining experiences; dialogue with a chef across the marble counter, sitting on slatted timber banquettes with smart marble brasserie tables or dining beneath the crafted steel tentacles of a giant sea monster on a slab of driftwood in an intimate booth.
The interior design combines the rough aesthetics of oyster farming with high-quality materials to create spaces that are cosy, elegant, and fit for fine dining.
Images © french+tye architectural & interior photography; Dominic French; Paul Winch Furness