wahaca southbank experiment: shipping container restaurant
wahaca southbank experiment: shipping container restaurant wahaca southbank experiment: shipping container restaurant
jul 11, 2012

wahaca southbank experiment: shipping container restaurant

wahaca mexican restaurant has just opened a shipping container pop-up location in london’s southbank, designed by softroom architects all images © joseph burns

mexican restaurant chain wahaca has just opened its new pop-up location in london’s southbank with a building designed by london-based architects softroom. composed of eight shipping containers and adorned with murals by international street artists, the restaurant functions as an experimental kitchen with monthly food specials over the course of 18 months, after which the project will move to another location. the most popular dishes at the southbank location will be added to wahaca’s standard menu in all its restaurants.

‘we developed the idea for using the shipping containers not only to remind visitors to the restaurant of the working history of this part of the river, but also for more practical reasons as their limited height allowed us to be able to fit two floors in to the volume of a single storey space,‘ the architects of softroom explain. each container is painted in one of four bright colours.

the ‘wahaca southbank experiment’ seats 130 diners. one of its upper floor containers–complete with outdoor terrace– is cantilevered to offer riverside views. large sliding glass doors turn the second storey into an indoor-outdoor environment.

ground level interior

at the lower-level countertop bar

upper level interior

side view of upper floor

interior lighting accent

front exterior, night view

the upper shipping container is cantilevered

night view

view from side of the building, looking towards the front

detail on ‘wahaca’ ground-level sign

full view of front exterior and pavilion

the building creates mixed indoor/outdoor spaces on both floors with sliding glass doors

closer view

full pavilion view

early concept sketch

finished render of the building

render, additional view

paris-born, madrid-based street artist remed and mexican street artist saner developed paintings inside the buildings and along the walls flanking its lower floor, in a project curated by british artist and designer tristan manco. in what manco calls ‘a game of mix and match‘, remed and saner each painted the faces of each others’ figures.

remed and saner work on the restaurant’s exterior murals image courtesy tristan manco

remed’s modernist-style graphics contrast with saner’s mystical and folkloric figures image courtesy tristan manco

located inside the shipping containers, ‘mi lupita’ by saner references the highly decorated trajinera boats of mexico city image courtesy tristan manco

  • It’s so playful, I love it! especially the lighting.
    It creates a hugely popular public space, because it doesn’t intimidate people

    Eric, UK says:
  • I love it 😀

    fuguilin says:

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