Pop-up restaurant by OS31 will
be built over a frozen river

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Pop-up restaurant on a frozen lake by OS31

News: British studio OS31 has won a competition to design a pop-up restaurant on the surface of a frozen river in Winnipeg, Canada.

Pop-up restaurant on a frozen lake by OS31

The RAW:almond restaurant will be installed at the point where the mouth of the Assiniboine meets the Red River, as part of the Canadian city's annual winter festival.



OS31, a studio specialising in lightweight, flexible architecture, has designed an X-shaped structure intended to symbolise the crossing of the two rivers.

Pop-up restaurant on a frozen lake by OS31

A metal scaffolding structure will provide the building's framework, as a nod to the rhythmic construction of a nearby bridge.

"The plan is made up of two clashing geometries," said studio founder Tony Broomhead, who designed the restaurant alongside architects Matt Pearson and Ross Jordan.

Pop-up restaurant on a frozen lake by OS31
Site plan – click for larger image

"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," he said. "The exterior and interior are expressed as separate forms, one enclosed inside the other."

Spaces inside the restaurant will be framed by faceted white walls, described as being "sculptural like drifts of snow".

Pop-up restaurant on a frozen lake by OS31
Diagram – click for larger image

A terrace will extend out from one of the building's four arms, providing an entrance to a bar area. Two others will contain dining areas, while the fourth will house the kitchen.

This will be the third iteration of the RAW:almond restaurant, which claims to be the "first ever outdoor fine dining restaurant on a frozen body of water". It will open to the public on 22 January.

Pop-up restaurant on a frozen lake by OS31
Floor plan – click for larger image

Each winter Winnipeg's frozen rivers also host a series of shelters to keep skaters warm – last year's took the form of giant pompoms.

  • th99

    Is this not just the Carmody Groarke project from the Olympic site?

    • yh00

      Sorry no it isn’t. In fact, it barely has any resemblance to it.

      • th99

        Barely any resemblance?

        • th99

          Like siblings…

          • Jenny

            Everybody, it is obvious. Don’t worry, Heatherwick has been doing it for years!

  • Fed Fef

    It’s pretty but it could have been built anywhere.

  • KD1two3

    I like the triangular opening in the square elevation. It seems to give the thing real weight, but then you see it from another angle and realise it’s paper thin. Bravo for that, but otherwise, yeah Carmody Groarke did it first.

  • Z-dog

    How are people comparing this with the project by Carmody Groarke?http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2010/06/dzn_Studio-East-Dining-by-Carmody-Groarke-7.jpg

    This is far more refined, designed and is a beauty to behold! Doing something first and poorly means nothing in architecture. For example, 3D-printed houses.

  • Rafael Reyes

    Agree. The elegant, even fragile beauty of this building is something very special.

    Carmody designing something similar before, to me, is irrelevant.