- Roland Baldi Architects has designed Italia&Amore in Bolzano
How can you architecturally implement the concept of a fine food company offering high-quality Italian-made food and wine based on tradition, artisanal methods and making the most of local producers? All in a context with major building restrictions in the historical centre of Bolzano, where italia&amore "ristorante, mercato, enoteca" has taken over an 18th-century building and set it up as their flagship store.
Roland Baldi Architects, iwas commissioned to refurbish the whole building and create new sales areas. They restored the historical facade along with its decorations and ornaments and knocked down walls inside to craft an open space on the ground floor. This brought in more daylight and at the same time improved the connection between the store and the urban context, making it much more inviting to enter.
The interiors have been revamped in line with the core business of italia&amore to give prominence to the Italian food and wine culture. The building's five floors have been broken down by function. The food emporium and extensive wine cellar are located in the two basement levels, the bar-pizzeria is on the ground floor and the upper floors accommodate the restaurants, with an informal feel for the pasta eatery and a more refined atmosphere in the meat and fish restaurant. The rooftop terrace has been turned into a Mediterranean garden with views of the rooftops in Bolzano, bedecked with water games and a glass fountain that doubles as a skylight for the top floor.
The five floors are connected by a large staircase that has been interpreted as a single, large display shelf for the culinary products, cookbooks, design objects and curiosities.
In addition to the architectural project of italia&amore, Roland Baldi also developed the interior design in collaboration with the communication studio Gruppe Gut, and Heike Linster. The interior is a mix of modern furnishings, craftsmanship and vernacular references, inspired by the cult film “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” by the artist and director Peter Greenaway.
The kitchens and dining areas all contrast, playing with the use of warm, bright colours and soft lighting for diners against the completely monochromatic kitchens that strikingly emphasise the creative aspect of food preparation.
The sequence of floors in italia&amore designed by Roland Baldi Architects references the famous food pyramid of the Mediterranean diet as a tangible symbol of the tradition of Italian food - a perfect blend of culinary and architectural art.
Project: Roland Baldi Architects
Project team: Sila Giriftinoglu, Harald Kofler
Location: Bolzano (BZ) Italy
Client: italia&amore Gastro Srl
Area: 791 m²
Images: T. Sorvillo / L. Guadagnini