A food experience spanning past and present
People no longer go to restaurants just to eat out but for the experience and emotions inspired by the food and the location. StrEat Food in Via California is the fourth restaurant in the self-styled « Food and Beers Experience » chain opened in the Tortona neighbourhood of Milan, a fashion and design district that has seen numerous architectural redevelopment projects in recent years. In this particular project, an interior design store was renovated by architect Andrea Anselmi in collaboration with StrEat Food’s owner, Roberto Cornacchio, to create the perfect venue for a unique culinary adventure.
In this 1960s building, street food prepared with high-quality ingredients fits in perfectly with the informal atmosphere where vintage inspirations and contemporary details come together in an industrial-style fusion.
The design brief was to create a « functional space that would fully exploit the available volume and optimise the areas used by the public and staff, adopting the distinctive features that define the concept of all the restaurants in the chain », explained Anselmi, who also developed the projects for the other StrEat Food locations.
The Tortona restaurant offers both takeaway and eat-in options and extends over a 65 m2 open space, a new 20 m2 mezzanine floor for use by customers, a 20 m2 kitchen and various service areas. The solutions chosen for the new functions and operations « combine modern and traditional materials, a bit like the StrEat Food experience as a whole », commented Anselmi. « Alongside the rough and burnished iron and the etched glass featured on the cantilevered mezzanine, bleached wood is used for the wainscoting, doors, shelves and custom furnishings, while a mixture of ceramic tiles extends over the floor and parts of the walls, » explained the architect. Tile in fact plays a key role as a decorative element and defines the image of all StrEat Food locations. Porcelain tiles are chosen in unusual and varied sizes to provide a contemporary reinterpretation of early twentieth century floor mosaics. The Tortona restaurant likewise features a solution that Anselmi describes as a « reclaimed patchwork », a mélange created by choosing three ceramic floor tile collections from Cir for three different areas. This reflects the restaurant’s origins as the unification of what were once three different stores to form a single space. The chosen collections are: Via Emilia, with mixed decorations; Chicago, size 20×10 cm and 24×27.7 cm hexagonal in colours State Street, Old Chicago, South Side; Riabita il Cotto, 24×24 cm octagonal module in colours Natural, Industrial and Minimal and a 10×10 cm field tile in Shabby Chic and Feng Shui versions. However, the simplicity of the project belies the ingenuity of the solutions adopted to solve important technical aspects. The technical systems, for example, are hidden from view in a compartment that is accessible from the mezzanine for ease of maintenance. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is also accentuated by the lighting design in which large industrial-style vintage pendant lamps dominate the space while essential-look spotlights add warmer notes of colour.
Riabita Il Cotto, Chicago, Via Emilia Cir Series
10x20, 20x20, 24x24, 10x10, 24x27,7 cm
Chicago: Old Chicago, South Side, State Street, Wrigley, Via Emilia decori: Rivalta, Canali, Mauriziano, Itala, Riabita il cotto: Natural, Industrial, Minimal, Shabby Chic, Feng Shui
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,3% - 10x10 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Cl. A
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 0,35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9-R10-R11
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant