Visual Display and the Vitello d’Oro restaurant in Udine


Alessandro Paderni / Studio Eye,



Refurbishment, Interior Design,

Italian practice Visual Display founded by Giorgio di Bernardo has worked its magic in Udine, Italy with a complete makeover of the city’s historic restaurant Vitello d’Oro, giving the architecture a facelift and updating the interior design for a more user-friendly venue with a new visual identity.

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Visual Display and the Vitello d’Oro restaurant in Udine Attractive interior design and the ability to spin a tale go hand in hand because a good story will always engage whoever is listening or using the space. Storytelling is a fundamental part of the hospitality and foodservice industry with good reason. Food, of course, is an essential ingredient but storytelling also plays a big part in the success or failure of any venue.
With this in mind, the owners of Vitello d’Oro, Udine’s oldest restaurant dating back to 1849 decided to refurbish and restyle this venue located right in the old city centre. They commissioned the Italian creative practice, Visual Display, founded by Giorgio di Bernardo to craft an ambience with a glamorous, hospitable style that would be a perfect fit for the restaurant’s philosophy and menu. This was no easy task but the renovation work brought to the surface original hidden details, giving the venue a new, contemporary twist combined with a traditional touch. In short, the design team set the perfect scene that connects with cosmopolitan culinary sophisticates without disappointing the expectations and affection of the restaurant’s long-time clientele.
The refurbishment involved a complete makeover of the interior and a facelift for part of the exterior facade. The practice restored the structure of the restaurant, stripping out layers of plasterboard added over the decades to reveal ancient stone walls – once the second city wall of Udine and now one of the restaurant’s main features. It also returned the original Venetian terrazzo flooring and wooden beams to their former glory with some masterful restoration work and set these off by a dedicated lighting project with gold, disc-like lighting fixtures to highlight the building’s features. 
The main entrance was relocated to make it central, so all the interior circulation flows to and from the lobby, emphasising the importance of this classy reception area. An arch in the stone wall leads into one of the restaurant’s most unique rooms where the moody colour palette of dark blue hues used for the pastoral scenes in the wallpaper give it a sophisticated air. The natural tones of the 5-metre long, plane wood table lit by three brass light fixtures make it perfect for important events or even more informal dinners. The restaurant’s main dining room was originally three separate areas, now underscored by light burnished copper, glass and fabric partitions that make them more intimate without completely closing them off. In this way, the whole area remains visually connected. Dark oak parquet floors laid in the Italian herringbone pattern style and a modern stove replacing the old Friuli fogolar also add to the warmth of the atmosphere. 
The project by Visual Display also included the decor as well as the elegant, comfortable restrooms. The new steel and glass doors and windows for the alfresco dining area that the interiors have plenty of light and the chic frosted glass lamps with their vaguely retro style add a touch of modernism to the façade. 
Visual Display’s refurbishment of the Vitello d’Oro is proof that a contemporary style can work well with tradition. Here, the restaurant’s history has been kept alive without creating too many nostalgic references that would put a burden on the customers and their dining experience.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Visual Display - https://www.visualdisplay.it/en/
Location: Udine, Italia
Year: 2019
Images: Alessandro Paderni / Studio Eye
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