European Canteen

  • Talking Things

Wedged between the massive granite façades of European institutions and major thoroughfares, the European Quarter in Brussels suffers from a lack of humanity caused by the enormous EU architectural projects in the vicinity. The European Quarter Lab’, developed for the association Equama, has set out to quickly and agilely experiment with new uses of public space in the area.

The first experiment is a temporary furniture kit that creates a social event: sharing a big table with others in public. European Canteen has about a hundred modular tables that can be arranged in a thousand ways to set up a public canteen in a park or provide seating for a food truck during a lunch break, for example. The assembly is so simple (four screws per table – it takes less than 30 minutes to assemble a 50-person table) that tables can be assembled by residents and municipal gardeners and set up as needed for community events. The potential to create a social gathering lies in both how easy European Canteen is to use, and the possibilities for each group to arrange it to suit their needs. 

The experiment, which has found a loyal following among users and other figures in the quarter for picnics and sporting events, has been permanently established and the some one hundred tables reappear each spring in an endless series of different arrangements. 

Non recherche-action plateforme socialdesign
Cadre budgétaire
  • undisclosed budget
Project duration
  • 2014 – 2015
  • European District, Brussels, Belgium
  • ASBL Equama
  • The town of Bruxelles
  • Region Bruxelles Capitales