Proving that the power lies in the idea. Venue 54 exemplifies that a feeling of luxury is possible even on a low budget through applying techniques like upcycling.
Chef Inars Birmanis aims to make his patrons feel like guests. It made sense to choose an apartment for his pop-up restaurant in Riga. We knew of free apartments in the Philosophers Residence and turned to the developers. While they welcomed the idea, a buyer could show up at any time. This unknown future and instability made it the perfect match for a pop-up dining experience.
That sense of incompleteness and the unknown inspired our design concept. The solutions are affordable, adaptable and easy to transport, rooted in the ideas of responsible reuse. Every piece has the chance at another life after the restaurant shuts its doors for the last time.
We had acquired a collection of offcuts and leftover construction materials, which served as both inspiration and source material for the interior. Most of the furniture is handmade, the result of informal on-site workshops under the guidance of Zane Tetere-Sulce. For weeks, the design team, chef Birmanis himself, his friends, craftsmen Aldis Buss and Agnese Landrate worked side by side, piecing together the now-furniture and accessories. The scaffolding acts as both a room divider and vertical garden space. As part of the brief, Birmanis specified that he wanted to grow ingredients on site.
At the table, guests will notice the contrast between its setting and the creative “chaos” of the space. The setting is deliberately elegant to put focus on and complement the beauty of the food.
A project characterised by creativity, a collaborative spirit and shared responsibility towards our environment.