A custom dining experience
Pizzeria Amici in Unterföhring, a suburb to the northeast of Munich, welcomes guests in a comfortable, intimate atmosphere reflected in the name of the restaurant — Italian for «friends». The idea is to offer guests an Italian gastronomic experience in a warm, friendly setting created both by the courtesy of the staff and by the interior design — in other words a place where one can feel among «friends». The choice of the Italian name reflects another distinctive feature of the pizzeria, which along with the menu offering traditional Italian specialities also has a staff with Italian origins, creating a sense of authenticity and perhaps adding a touch of folklore. The concept of the restaurant, which functions as both a pizzeria and a bar, was created by two business partners who obviously have emotional ties with Italy. Pizzeria Amici was created by renovating an interior of a modern building and has an entrance that opens onto a large courtyard, centrally located with respect to Munich’s airport and railway station. The restaurant has a total floor space of around two hundred square metres, consisting a bar area near the entrance which extends past a large central column bearing the menu blackboard into the dining room. The key feature of the project, drawn up by the owners themselves, was the choice of materials and attention to detail with the aim of giving the space a strong personality. To achieve these aims, during construction the owners collaborated with craftsmen, in particular an expert carpenter who built the structures and main elements specially for the spaces. Wood is the dominant material. As one of the two owners explained, «the warm effect that it creates is particularly appreciated in a cold country like Germany». Oak was chosen for the bar counter, the furniture in the service area, the display unit and the high bar tables. These custom designed tables stand on a single leg for the purpose of functionality and rest against the wall. The table top is folded upwards at 90°, creating an original repetitive pattern like a series of paintings. In the dining area, wood is used on the tables, which here are lower but again handmade, and on the countertop, a unique item made from recycled wine boxes, naturally from Italian vineyards and wineries! Wood also serves as an element of architectural and aesthetic continuity given that the entire floor is tiled with a material that reproduces wood grain but offers all the technical characteristics and practicality of porcelain. The chosen collection — Travel from Supergres in the Southgold colour — has a material feel with a slight surface texture and irregular shading that reinforces the natural effect. The 19.7×120 cm planks are laid crosswise in the bar area to create a greater perception of space and lengthwise in the pizzeria to enhance the sense of depth. The vintage atmosphere, emphasised by the elegant chairs and photos of Italian film stars from the fifties, contrast with a number of industrial-style details. One is the ventilation system which introduces fresh air from outside into the room, conveying it through aluminium pipes that run along the ceiling. This solution combines aesthetic qualities with low environmental impact.