Botanic Fusion & Cocktail: a tropical urban oasis

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In the province of Bergamo, MARGStudio architects renovated a disused venue, incorporating lush greenery as an integral part of the design, with a winter garden where indoor and outdoor spaces overlap. Wood- and stone-effect porcelain stoneware evokes the natural world.

Arcene (Bergamo) is home to a little tropical oasis where, surrounded by greenery, you can enjoy fusion cuisine accompanied by a great selection of wines and cocktails.

Botanic, the brainchild of a local businessman who already owns a successful sushi restaurant, has injected new life into a disused former nightclub.

The project was entrusted to architects Annalisa Grasselli and Matteo Rota of MARGStudio, specialised in the design and renovation of public spaces.

Matteo Rota explained “We interpreted the concept starting from the use of natural materials and airy, open spaces that emphasise a relationship with nature, so as to evoke ideals of authenticity and refinement even in simplicity. We chose flooring that calls to mind wood and stone, introduced lush plant displays and used expanses of glass, natural light and furnishings with very light details”, such as, for example, grid-like dividers in gold-coloured iron, vintage style ceiling lights with slender gold bars and a glass-fronted wine cellar with shelving.

The theme of nature is also emphasised in the venue’s outdoor space, seamlessly connected to the interior thanks to the winter garden which is a kind of transparent diaphragm between inside and out that can be opened up as and when required.

For this fully glazed space, Mystone Ceppo Di Gré porcelain stoneware (in size 75×75 cm) was used for the floor tiles, the Greige colour showing off the dense pot plant arrangements between the tables.

“Greenery plays the leading role both chromatically through the furnishings and the graphics on the walls, and through the use of plants and wood in natural colours, conjuring up a nature that is ‘explosive' but also carefully studied”. For example, the area dominated by the impressive 10-metre long counter clad in green Alps marble with a countertop in natural oak laid in a chevron herringbone pattern, is painted green and features a strip of “stabilised” plants suspended from the ceiling, running the entire length of the interior. Natural wood is also evoked by the indoor flooring in Treverksoul wood-effect porcelain stoneware, used here in Brown in the 11×54 cm size and once again installed in a herringbone pattern. “This material allowed us to have hard-wearing surfaces in an area with heavy foot traffic, avoiding the use of less durable alternatives and providing the added advantage of a natural effect thanks to the textural quality”.

Ph Silvia Rivoltella