Lanzavecchia + Wai's solar-powered Sunplace equips sustainable outdoor feasts

Alfresco dining takes a sustainable turn with Sunplace, Lanzavecchia + Wai's proposal for solar-powered garden gatherings.

As summer approaches, thoughts naturally turn to barbecues, picnics in the park and other forms of alfresco dining – preferably in the sun, with friends. Italo-Singaporean duo Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai created Sunplace, a sustainable all-in-one combination of these and other food-related outdoor activities.

Envisioned as ‘an evolution of the ancient fireplace that warms, entertains and feeds’, Sunplace is a seating and table collection that harnesses solar power and employs a glass lens to cook food on a steel grill.

A heart-warming aspect of the product is that its communal character is just as important as the culinary opportunities it provides. To be a success, cooking with sunshine requires cooperation, not to mention protective goggles and gloves.

Preparing their meal together, participants have to pay attention not only to cast-iron tools, which are heated under the lens and used to cook the top side of the food, but also to the solar-powered grill that cooks it from below.

It’s an exercise in teamwork that harks back to the early days of cooking, when people were reliant on the whims of nature and on one another for their food.

Photos Angelo Becci

Read more on trends for the great outdoors in Frame #109's outdoor report.

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