Wahaca Southbank Project
Marquee AV completed the design and installation of the audio system for the Wahaca Southbank Mexican restaurant at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Designed by renowned architects Softroom, the innovative Wahaca Southbank Experiment is a new two-storey temporary installation, constructed from eight recycled shipping containers on the outdoor terrace of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre.
Softroom developed the idea for using the shipping containers not only to remind visitors of the working history of the Southbank area of the river, but also practical reasons as their limited height allowed them to fit two floors in to the height of a single storey space.
Contrasting with the heavy concrete backdrop of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, each container is painted in one of four vibrant colours ranging from deep turquoise to straw yellow, providing a colourful contrast to the restaurant’s grey surroundings. One of the top floor containers has been cantilevered out over the restaurant’s ramped entrance to create a canopy above the ground floor. On the upper level, this cantilevering enhances views from the upstairs bar out over the river.
Inside the restaurant the front and back containers are connected via a glazed link, which houses the stairway connecting the two floors and floods the space with natural light. Each of the containers has its own character with a mix of bespoke, new and reclaimed furniture along with distinct lighting designs. Outside, there is a wide variety of areas in which to sit, from the booth seats, built in to the raised timber deck around the building, to the first floor terrace bar, to the street bar overlooking Queen’s Walk.
Mexican artists have been commissioned to create a changing series of murals for the restaurant, which will decorate the walls and structures that surround it.
With space for 130 diners, the Wahaca Southbank Experiment has been designed to remain open for at least 18 months, before moving to a new location.
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