When German architect Ole Scheeren first presented the fruits of his collaboration with gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca at Design Miami in 2016, the trend for healthy fast food was just taking hold. ‘Stage’ is made up of a sculpted topography that cradles dishes to form a multi-layered cornucopia of fresh produce and ingredients. This self-contained piece not only celebrates the artistry of food, but also its ability to draw people together. Animated in its composition, yet as elegant as a classical still-life painting, ‘Stage’ dynamically re-orientates what fast food can be and has just won Best Counter Revolution in the Wallpaper* Design Awards.

‘Food is a fundamentally social thing,’ says Scheeren. ‘In my architecture, I’m generally interested in how space can support and inspire communal behaviour. The idea of “Stage” was to celebrate food and create a stage for food that will be served but, at the same time, create a stage for the people who both make and consume the food. It’s for people to come together, a social catalyst. It’s a freestanding object that people can congregate around; they can meet up and watch the preparation of the food itself.’

In late February, Dean & DeLuca brings Scheeren’s concept to life with the opening of its new outlet in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Building on the brand’s iconic deli counters, ‘Stage’ will act as a self-contained entity that visitors can peruse and circumnavigate. Alongside the usual coffee and pastry offering, it will also serve fresh, made-to-order dishes. Milled from a solid block of white Corian that meticulously conceals custom-designed heating and cooling units, and wrapped in reflective stainless steel, ‘Stage’ cuts a memorable figure. And brings fresh life to a forty-something deli revolutionary. §

As originally featured in the February 2019 issue of Wallpaper* (W*239)

See more from the Wallpaper* Design Awards here