Restaurant 0 / studio

Restaurant 0 / studio
Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Windows
© Tõnu Tunnel

Restaurant 0 / studio - Exterior Photography, WindowsRestaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, WindowsRestaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Windows, FacadeRestaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Stairs, Table, Windows, ChairRestaurant 0 / studio - More Images+ 16

  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2021
  • Photographs
    Photographs:Tõnu Tunnel
  • Lead Architects: Maria Helena Luiga, Andrea Tamm, Henri Papson, Hannes Praks
  • Project Team: Malvo Tominga, Kaisa Sööt, Ann-Katriin Kelder, Kaarel Kuusk
  • Collaborator: UKU – Pure earth
  • City: Viljandi
  • Country: Estonia
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Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Stairs, Table, Windows, Chair
© Tõnu Tunnel

Text description provided by the architects. Design studio creates a zero-waste temporary restaurant space for a TV show, looking into how design can and should be used as a tool to draw attention to the footprint of the design and building industry.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Windows
© Tõnu Tunnel
Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Windows, Lighting, Beam
© Tõnu Tunnel

Last summer, the slow-tech spatial design studio* (kuidas? – how? in Estonian) was invited to participate in an Estonian TV series Restaurant 0 that aimed to complete a rather challenging task – to build a restaurant in 7 days at zero cost, using smart recycling. The restaurant was designed and built into the ruins of a 19th-century sausage shop in the Old Town of Viljandi, a small town in South Estonia. Last week, the project was announced as the Estonian Interior Architects Union Annual Award laureate 2021 at the annual Estonian Architectural Awards gala.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Image 19 of 21

Suppose a design studio is generously handed the opportunity to explore the full range of design possibilities of creating a restaurant experience from scratch with zero budget and without leaving a remarkable footprint. In that case, naturally, the question "how?" arises. By recycling the waste, we can reduce the footprint of fast consumption. However, even when materials are reused, the result can still end up in landfills or incineration. The recycling process itself can also turn out quite costly or unresourceful. Elaborating that point of view, the design team decided to extend the zero-expense paradigm in the TV show by proposing a conceptual centerpiece for the restaurant – a 15-ton rammed-earth table.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Tõnu Tunnel

The table was an exploration into the simplest, ancient methods - created using the rammed earth technique, using only hand tools and natural materials. Tons and tons of clay were first dried in the sun, then sieved through an old spring mattress frame, carried bucket by bucket into the framework, and finally rammed into a standing height dining table. The earth was mainly of local origin and sourced from a nearby clay quarry. Typical of the Devon era, Southern Estonian earth fluctuates in yellow and ochre undertones. The darker red clay was also from the region: Lithuania. Other main materials used in the project were sand - to level the floor - and lime paint to neutralize the walls covered in graffiti.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography
© Tõnu Tunnel

The used volumes of clay and sand could easily be reused, but even if the rammed earth table were left in ruins, the materials used would not burden the environment, and the table will slowly but surely fall apart and disappear. In total, less than 1% of the materials - just the tableware - require recycling later on. Materials used for the tableware were wooden trays made from old floorboards from the site, bowls cut from 3-liter glass jars, steel plates, and sleeves of copper tubes used as drinking glass stands.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Image 16 of 21
© Tõnu Tunnel

The pop-up restaurant was built to host 12 guests for a one-night-only 4-course dinner. The standing table aimed to support presence and awareness, adding attentiveness to the dining experience as it won't let you forget where you are and why. Coming out of the comfort zone is the prerequisite for understanding ecological problems, which was the undertone of the whole show. The design does not have to be about comfortability. It can and should be used as a tool to draw attention, as the design and building industry has one of the heaviest footprints. So whether turning to simple technology is convenient or inconvenient, or whether there are other solutions, is the central question of the concept of this work.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Interior Photography, Windows
© Tõnu Tunnel

As of now, the team of is looking for challenges in bringing the low-tech design and building methods into the public space while thinking of it as an upgrade rather than a downgrade. The studio aims to shift the paradigm – to bring natural building methods and materials from marginality to normality.

Restaurant 0 / studio - Exterior Photography, Windows
© Tõnu Tunnel

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Project location

Address:Posti 14,Viljandi,71004 Viljandi maakond, Viljandi, 71007 Viljandi maakond, Estonia

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Restaurant 0 / studio" 13 Feb 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Tõnu Tunnel

15吨手工夯土桌,零能耗餐厅 / studio

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