The Fittja Caffe and Common Roof Kitchen began in 2012 as a proposal for cultural exchange in Fittja, a suburb of Stockholm which is home to 161 of the world's 193 nationalities. A project of OPENrestaurant, the first gesture was to visit neighbors in Fittja, where the Botkyrka Konsthall maintains an artist residency apartment and project space.
Beginning by photographing pantries and refrigerators, members of OPEN worked with the Konsthall and its neighbors in Fittja to build a plan for an open site of exchange around food and culture.
This took the form of the Fittja Kitchen and Common Roof Caffe in 2012 and 2013, seeking to collectively define 'Fittja Food,' and making a space for a complete food system to develop. The Common Roof Caffe consisted of a roof structure, bread library, and series of architectural/city planning experiments by Marjetica Potrc's Design for the Living World course at HFBK in Hamburg. Kultivator, an artist group located in southern Sweden, installed a chicken coop and megacomposter in front of the caffe, which gave eggs in exchange for neighbors' kitchen scraps. In front of the caffe, vegetables grew in a small garden, and from the window of the residency apartment, OPENrestaurant programmed a caffe as a site of conversation, investigations, and meals such as the forage walk and dinner, a workshop with children from the Fittja and Tumba vicinities who ate a four-course meal they helped to cook with food they found growing in Fittja.
The caffe will be featured as a part of the upcoming Fittja Pavilion in the 2014 Venice Architecture Bienniale, and will serve as a seed for a new art center to be built in Fittja. The systems of cultural dialogue, critique, connection, and exchange at work in the various Fittja Caffe projects will create the foundation, or hearth, for an art center which takes these methods and values as its core.