RAW Tokyo


pop up restaurant
with Studio RAP and RAW Almond

design team: Leon Spikker (Studio RAP), Will Galloway, Christopher Sjoberg (frontoffice), Joe Kalturnyk (RAW Almond) with extra help from furniture designer Tineke Spikker

food team: Chef Mandel Hitzer, Chef Takahiro Matsuyama

The RAW popup restaurant appears in unexpected places. Its annual home is on a frozen winter river in the centre of Winnipeg, a city located in the middle of the Canadian prairies. More recently the RAW team has set up shop in an abandoned stone fort in northern Canada, and in Tokyo the location was the interior of a gutted wooden house, a remnant from the reconstruction of the city after the Second World War. A forest of columns is the only hint of the home's past function.

RAW is collaborative. Chefs come from different places to learn from each other as they prepare one-off gourmet dishes, designers try out new materials and fabrication techniques, and everyone is pulling towards the singular goal, of making a unique experience with simple means and in a short time. In this case frontoffice joined with Leon Spikker, founder of Rotterdam based Studio RAP, and designer Joe Kalturnyk, co-founder of RAW Almond in Winnipeg. The design and construction method were developed over a series of conferences by skype and finally in person when we were joined by students from Waseda University.

The restaurant is a room sized lantern that diners sit inside. Made from stage scrim, the space is semi-transparent from the outside, opaque on the inside. The scrim is cut to form a collection of spiral tubes hung from a grid of steel wires spanning the length and width of the house. Tables, chairs, and kitchen prep areas were all made from cut pieces of 2x4 timber.

The project was sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Tokyo, and was visited by the Mayor of Rotterdam.