In 1947, architect Angelo Bianchetti designed "the Pavesi space" the first Italian motorway restaurant on the Milan-Turin highway in Novara, commissioned by businessman Mario Pavesi and inspired by American grill rooms.
Seventy years later the new “bridge restaurant” designed by Iosa Ghini Associati has been opened and the Bologna Design Week, a collateral event of Cersaie 2017, saw the presentation of the book “Novara: la prima area di ristoro autostradale ” (Novara: the first motorway restaurant) which tells the story and describes the habits and architecture of these places designed for travellers.
The design by Massimo Iosa Ghini has renovated the “bridge” in Novara, which was designed in 1962 by architect Angelo Bianchetti to replace the first restaurant space built in 1947. The project did not just bring the systems and technology of the structure up to date, but completely regenerated the building with a holistic approach.
The exterior image has been completely overhauled, with a glumlam white pine covering that insulates that building and has allowed the heating and cooling systems to be scaled down to avoid waste. Sustainability and energy saving have inspired all the technical and architectural choices. The interior has a multi-pathway layout with guidelines on the floor and integrated digital tools that allow users to freely choose their route to the exit, without being obliged to follow a single pathway.
This philosophy is shared by the client and has also had an effect on the food and market inside the restaurant, with partnerships with local businesses to focus on local food and wine and with chef Roberto Valbuzzi to offer a menu with original recipes.