Italian firm Studio DiDeA has recently refurbished and old restaurant with no character located in an early twentieth-century building following the client request to “create a special place with an informal atmosphere that could become a meeting place for Palermo’s people to eat, drink, share and coming back.”
The New Bistrot Cento61 – Josper Bar has a large external space, the interior is 130 square meters large and it’s 1,50 meters below ground.
“The main challenge for us was to convert this basement in an airy space, enhancing the garden and choosing finishings and materials that would amplify the internal clarity” explain the architects.
The design of the garden is developed around the 200 years old Cycas with few simple elements on different levels. At street level an iron grid with elements that can become drop-leaf tables when needed, with high stools overlooking the garden at the lower level where small tables and wooden terraces punctuate the space.
The white iron-being declined as a grid and as framework structure- is the leitmotiv connecting the different spaces, in order to accentuate the brightness and the fluidity of the space.
Inside the white iron frames the different materials used on the walls: wooden durmast panels chosen to add warmth, Calacatta marble panels, Niagara blue inserts, and white iron grid.
The result is geometric-patterned wall surfaces that match the cobalt-blue sofas and the light blue and yellow colored chairs, adding vibrancy and a sense of playfulness to the otherwise simple space. The architects along with the client created a variety of seating typologies so anyone can choose the seat that fits best to him/her.
The lighting is provided through two strips of dimmable led concealed under the white iron grid that also helps out the light to diffuse. IC Flos suspension lamps designed by Michael Anastassiades hang from the ceiling adding a touch of elegance.
From the old Cycas palm in the garden greenery is conceived as a design element in the interior with philodendron, ivy, ficus repens, all plants suitable to be grown in interiors- inside cubic pots clipping onto the gridded metal structure.
“ The greenery allowed us to enrich the interior design of a natural and living element, underlining the continuity between the inside and outside,” adds the architects. “Thanks to a system led lights that stimulate photosynthesis for plants, the greenery is also easy to manage”.
The bistrot has few dishes with a daily changing menu as a guarantee of the quality of local raw materials.
all images courtesy of Studio DiDea