An inclusive and multicoloured restaurant
Valentina Elmiger (Vanda Designers)
“Right from the start, the aim of the project was to blend styles, colours, influences and narratives: this small restaurant is a melting pot of elements that interact to create something entirely new,” is how Valentina Elmiger from Vanda Designers begins her account of the project for Gustavo’s Pizza.
The project involved the renovation and extension of an existing venue called the Luppoleria, also designed by the practice Vanda Designers and located in Piacenza’s vibrant Roma neighbourhood.
The former Luppoleria is set in an unusual urban context enriched by a blend of different cultures and ethnic groups but at the same time in a state of gradual decay and in search of a new identity and image capable of regenerating the area. With this in mind, the project for Gustavo’s Pizza aimed to present itself as a “social solution”, a new meeting place catering for a clientele of friends, families, young people and residents of all ages. “The aim of our two projects, Luppoleria and Gustavo’s Pizza, was to create a place that would become a driver of socialisation and help regenerate the neighbourhood as a popular destination enhanced by its multiethnicity.”
The tool for achieving this goal was creativity: the Luppoleria was transformed by adopting new combinations of materials and colours; the interiors were enlarged and the two rooms were joined together to make a larger single space. The search for new colours and proportions underpinned the design of Gustavo’s Pizza, as Valentina Elmiger explained: “The challenge was to create a space that – just like the neighbourhood as a whole – would appeal to everyone, that would be able to welcome a group of friends who decide to stop by for a pizza while also being family friendly. For this reason we organised different types of tables in heterogeneous but interconnected spaces. On the ground floor, adjacent to the pub, we installed four types of tables: a service counter where customers can sit on high stools and eat pizza; a series of small central tables; other tables decorated with plants; and a custom-designed frame structure housing three tables with bench seating.”
The colours and surface coverings were chosen as a way of unifying the different compositions: the green and orange shades of the structures and furnishings were combined with a tropical patterned wallpaper and wall panelling consisting of terrazzo-effect ceramic tiles. Chosen from the Newdecò series by Ceramica Sant’Agostino, these 90×90 cm porcelain tiles are installed on the lower section of the wall to create a sense of continuity and enhance the restaurant’s welcoming atmosphere.