How important is atmosphere in a restaurant? It’s pretty important for most folks, but designers and architects may pay special attention to the quality of the details: the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, the acoustics, the type on the menu– stuff like that. So how do you evaluate design when you’re eating from a food truck? We may get a few clues from the Del Popolo food truck. Instead of an immersive environment, we have a mobile fragment that collapses the work of an entire restaurant kitchen into the space of a rental truck.
It’s a hefty truck, though, weighting some fourteen tons as it climbs up and brakes down the hills of San Francisco. Part of the weight comes from the enormous, wood-burning oven bolted into the back of the repurposed shipping container. The oven is nicely framed by the black steel windows that unfold, opening the side of the truck to customers and the surroundings. And just like in a restaurant, the details here are telling: the wood for the oven, the black steel, and the type stuck on the window create an atmosphere around the truck even as its surroundings change.