Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Cook8: A new dining area

Cook8: A New Dining Space, 

at the Benaki Museum, Pireos Avenue, Athens.

Cook8: The New Dining Area, is an international design competition. The aim of the competition was the design of 'new ideas for a place for people to eat while socialising'. It attracted 280 submissions by 485 contributors from 24 countries. The exhibition consisted of design plans, maquettes and installations of the first three winners. The designs ranged from the absurd and hilarious,

like people dining at the back of this van, to the highly innovative and high-tech designs. This post concentrates on the three installations of the winners.

Glorious Holistic:

A large, black box

with a lit-up entrance at the front.

We were instructed to wear the provided plastic covers for our shoes

and in we went.

The first step was a shock, as the floor consisted of a mattress - hence the plastic covers for our shoes - but I had not been watching where I was walking, and it was a real shock as I sank in. So, a mattress for a floor, and a round low table in the middle. Plus a hatch for the serving of the food.

We then explored the dark areas around the dining space. We later found out we should have gone there first, as the architect had described the structure as  'a ritual where the diners, through a dark procession.... recline into a bright white box...' But never mind, we had been attracted by the light. The dark areas consisted of the food and utensil storage space

the food preparation area

which included the serving hatch

and the toilet

which brought us back to the dining space.

Sea, Sex and Sun:

Described by the architects as 'a heterotopia that interrupts the anticipated urban reality by composing an illusion of a carefree summer life, which eventually becomes an exhibit in the city, as a showcase that constantly provokes and invites'.

A glass box this time, so we could see what we were getting into. First thing we noticed was the sand

A narrow passage way that led to

the sand

with the food preparation area on our right

Next to the preparation area, the w.c.

with a bright orange toilet.

Nefos (the Cloud, as in the cloud that serves the Internet):

'Each diner, by means of eight staircases, ascends alone into a hovering cloud. 24 reflecting mirrors, which represent the 24 hours of the day, reinforce a solitary but orgiastic experience, in between real and virtual space'.

You can see Ken's legs here, as he ascends into the Cloud

I climbed the stairs, and this magical world greeted me

and soon, another 'diner' joined me.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Olga, you are absolutely right. Design should facilitate, it should take into account the disabled. I am sorry you removed your comment because it was spot on.

    1. Thanks Eirene. I was cross when I wrote the comment, and I do try to keep my intemperate outpourings to a minimum - especially on another's blog.