Projects

Tino Caffè - Florence

British tradition meets Italian contemporary design

The vintage industrial style of British pubs meets Italian design in an experimental project for a new café in Florence
Author
Santino Limonta
Photos
Luciano Busani
Surfaces
FIORANESE
Distributor
Innocenti Bruna s.r.l.
Year of completion
2017

Sometimes a public space embraces such a unique and original concept that it simply cannot be categorised in terms of known stylistic trends. In some ways this is the case of Tino Caffè, a newly opened bar in Florence which immediately attracted attention for its unconventional interiors. Tommaso Fuzier Cayla, who coordinated the renovation project, told us about its origins. “When my family purchased Boccaccio Hotel in 2017, the interior space that now accommodates Tino Caffè was used solely for guests’ breakfasts. We decided to open up a window facing onto the busy Via della Scala and transform the space into a street-fronted café. In this new venue I wanted to recreate the ambiences and atmospheres of the East Sussex pubs I frequented during a lengthy stay in Brighton, but smoothing out their rough edges with a large dose of Italian design. The challenge was to bring together two contrasting visions and create an industrial chic environment.
“I was particularly struck by the fact that these pubs had plain walls where street artists could exhibit their paintings. Likewise, I wanted the Tino Caffè to be transformed periodically into a modern art gallery.” Suspended from an aluminium bar mounted on the wall opposite the bar counter are nylon wires capable of holding up even the heaviest paintings. The plain red bricks splashed with white mortar coupled with the use of spotlights emphasise the characteristics of the objects on display. The bar has a longitudinal layout with the service area on the left and tables to the right. At the far end, two masonry partitions create a separate seating area. The room is dominated by the enormous custom-made recycled solid wood counter. The same type of wood is used for the table tops mounted on Corten-steel-effect iron structures. The scratched metal doors to the service areas were created by welding together and subsequently cold hammering pieces of scrap iron. The renovation project did not require any kind of structural work. The existing walls were stripped, then thin red slip bricks were applied using white mortar and left unfinished. From floor to table height the wall is clad with black solid wood panelling with a design reminiscent of Brighton beach huts. Accent lighting is provided by a single ceiling rail equipped with directional spotlights, while the ambient lighting consists of highly distinctive wall-mounted and suspended light points, such as naval ropes knotted onto a pulley, Edison type lamps and copper pipes reminiscent of a 1940s plumbing system. Together all these different light sources help to create the warm, cosy atmosphere of a British pub. Another important visual element is the floor covering, which consists of Burnt-coloured ChevronChic porcelain slabs from Fioranese installed in a herringbone pattern, recreating the look of British floors made from reclaimed boat decking.

Tiles
Fioranese, ChevronChic
Type
porcelain stoneware
Sizes
7,8x53,3 cm
Colours
Burnt
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0.5 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): conforme
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): conforme
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): conforme
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
EMAS
ISO 14001
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