Maria Giulia Zunino
«With the same spirit as a young woman who picks fresh vegetables in her garden and then carefully prepares the dishes, Rosalia Salad Gourmet aims to share the quality of fresh local produce with lovers of fine, healthy cuisine,» explain Vincenzo Martoccia and Giancarlo Cosentino. Drawing from their twenty years of experience, they offer delicious and flexible menus that combine a healthy and well-balanced diet with the pleasures of the palate.
«Our specialities transform a table into a place for tasting natural flavours while enjoying healthy food. They are ideal for people in search of a practical and quick meal without sacrificing quality, health and the pleasure of fine food. Our menu includes a wide range of salads, which customers can have fun composing for themselves, couscous, sandwiches, and so on.»
For the architectural project they turned to the Florence-based practice S+S, set up in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Diletta Storace and Nicola Spagni.
«We immediately connected with the clients, who wanted the space to be as different as possible to that of a canteen. They were looking for a youthful place that would serve high-quality food while carrying on the local culinary tradition and promoting an awareness of the relationship between healthy eating and well-being,» said Nicola Spagni. «They wanted it to be welcoming and reassuring, with strong aesthetic appeal and an artisanal flavour, like a kitchen from the past. In short, a place not just for preparing food but for meeting people and socialising.»
The result is a space that opens onto the square and consists of three interconnecting areas: one for eating quick snacks at the counter, one for sit-down meals, and one for take-away food.
The choice of materials and colours is highly unconventional. The common thread running through the project is the ceramic floor tiling, chosen for its decorative qualities, its traditional origins and the characteristics that make porcelain stoneware ideal for use in architecture, namely naturalness and eco-compatibility, a wide range of sizes and decorations, strength, durability and ease of installation and maintenance.
The choice fell on the Patchwork series from Ceramica Sant’Agostino. Inspired by early twentieth-century cement tiles, they stand out for their modern designs and colour combinations and are produced in a square shape and sizes ranging from 20×20 cm to 15×15 cm.
The tiles come in surprising colours and give the project a light, fresh feel. Although the idea of naturalness is normally associated with the colour green, these tiles use a variety of shades to express the same concept in a less obvious but equally effective way. They are the colours of the sky, from azure to the pink of clouds lit up by the setting sun. It is a reassuring sky which — perhaps due to the name Rosalia, the elegant wallpaper with stylised palm trees and the unexpected and almost baroque look of the velvet upholstery of the chairs — makes one think of Sicily.
While pink and light blue might be thought of as childish, pretentious colours, in the Rosalia Salad Gourmet they are quite the opposite, perfect in their understated, almost whispered elegance. Not surprisingly, this year Rosalia Salad Gourmet won the Commercial category of the seventh edition of the «Ceramics and Design» architecture competition held by Confindustria Ceramica and Cersaie to honour the best projects carried out using Italian ceramic tiles.
Ceramica Sant'Agostino, Patchwork
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,1%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant