A walk by the sea… at the foot of the Turin hills
Gianluca Bocchetta (VelvetLab)
Located in a small street next to the Church of the Great Mother of God in the Borgo Po neighbourhood at the foot of the Turin hills, Papo Kitchen & Fish is a new fish restaurant looking out onto the recently pedestrianised 260 metre section of Via Monferrato.
Completed in 2017, it is located in a rapidly-evolving area that has been reinvigorated by the opening of numerous new restaurants, the most recent of which is the Cannavacciuolo Bistrot owned by Michelin-starred chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo from Vico Equense.
Papo Kitchen & Fish, a small restaurant located on the ground floor of an early twentieth century building, replaces a historic wine bar and follows a design concept created by VelvetLAB, a creative studio founded by architect Gianluca Bocchetta in 2012 with the aim of handling all aspects of projects, from architecture through to furnishing and coordinated image. The restaurant has three small windows looking out onto the street and occupies a total surface area of 150 square metres divided into three sections consisting of the areas open to the public, a kitchen, a service/storage room and an underground cellar. The interior spaces have a rigid spatial layout due to the thick loadbearing walls and low vaulted ceilings.
The project posed serious difficulties right from the start, as project manager Gianluca Bocchetta explains: “Judging from the enormous media success and above all the positive feedback from customers, we realised that we had created a small pearl in the city of Turin. Pedestrianisation work in Via Monferrato began few days after the project was completed and is sure to improve the visibility of Papo Kitchen & Fish. As soon as I was awarded the project, I realised it would be highly problematical in terms of the architecture of the spaces, the total lack of facilities for food and drink preparation and serving, and above all the nature of the area in which it is located.”
The design of the interiors and their character became the main focus of the design process. In particular, the architect devoted a lot of attention to the choice of a coordinated image, forms, textures, colours, materials, furnishings and details of a restaurant which, as the name suggest, creates the sensation of being by the sea. Much attention is also devoted to the replicability of a format which, while intended for a larger restaurant, can also be adopted and repeated by the owner of a location on the scale of Papo Pizza & Kitchen.
The interior stands out for its minimalist design and a limited selection of colours and materials. The walls and ceiling have a uniform rough plaster finish reminiscent of boatsheds. The pale, neutral and cool colours are reprised tone-on-tone in the furnishings and accessories. The few decorations are entirely custom made from metal to create a meticulous and homogeneous effect, as are the lighting solutions.
Large metallic scales in alternating steel and teal coloured finishes reminiscent of fish skin grace the walls, while a life-size blue marlin is suspended on the wall behind a full-length counter decorated by a swordfish with its blade-like tail and rostrum, while starfishes, octopuses, albatrosses and seagulls are perched on the walls.
The Papo clearly aims to offer its guests an authentic seafront experience complete with rocks and reflecting sunlight, an intention that is also evident in the choice of floor and wall tiles supplied by Ceramiche Caesar. The mint-green-coloured large square slabs from the Trace collection (Mint 120×120 cm) dominate the interior and infuse it with a sensation of freshness.
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <=0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Resistente
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <= 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): Conforme
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9 A
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant