Sure, Google is fabled to have some pretty legendary cafeterias, but even they can't say their employees take lunch inside something called an Octospider. True, the name is a bit of a head-scratcher since the building has a lot more than eight legs, but it does kind of look like a daddy long legs straddling a lake. Designed by Exposure Architects, the stilted structure is where workers of Satin Textiles in Thailand nosh on their midday meals, cooled naturally by the waters of the pond.
We have to say that the Octospider is as far away from a typical cafeteria as it gets. The structure is raised 8 meters from the ground and is situated away from the factory so that employees can both physically and mentally “leave” their work during lunch. They do this by strolling up a ramp that springs from the main pedestrian path and leads to the cafeteria. Since the cafeteria is lined with glass, it’s naturally daylit and affords diners a soothing view of the landscape. Since a glass box can get pretty hot, adjustable louvres shade the interior and control the heat. The exterior walkways and cooling water were also designed with energy efficiency in mind.
“Eating has always been a social event, a need transformed into a ritual for all social classes,” writes Exposure of their inspiration behind the design. “Today’s life has endangered this act, has brought it back to a mere functional activity. In designing a factory cafeteria, it has been therefore of paramount importance to give some nobility to the moment of eating, while keeping always in mind the notions of efficiency, timing and economy.”