Wright Brothers:
Undercover Architecture

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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