A carefully considered project

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In Trani, architect Antonio Loiodice has breathed new life into a historic restaurant using minimalist furnishings and eye-catching materials

Antonio Loiodice’s renovation project in Trani represents a break with long-standing traditional practices that have created limitations for establishments serving mainly ‘fast food’ such as bars and pizzerias. In the layout of the historic Pizzeria Bovio – 90 square metres on a single floor – the space has been emptied, hydro-cleaned, painted and reorganised: “The project arose from the idea of giving a makeover to a place that has been around for almost a hundred years,” explains the designer. “Touching these places is connecting to the lives of the people who have lived and worked here over the years.”

When you enter, you are struck by its clean, airy feel: minimalist furnishings and tall, white barrel vaults made of tuff – the local stone – contrast with fixtures, lamps, seating and design accessories, all in an elegant shade of matt black. The services, which are indispensable in a public establishment, thus take on a special expressive character in premises that respect tradition.

“The tradition of ‘dough makers’ and the beauty of Apulian tuff had to be combined with innovation at any cost,” continues Loiodice. “This is why the project was centred around the restaurant’s key element, the counter, which had to respect beauty, cleanliness and elegance standards, without erasing history.” Covered with large marble-effect slabs from The Top Marble Look Capraia Book Match collection, fine colorbody porcelain stoneware (160×320 cm, 6 mm thick) obtained using Marazzi’s most innovative and sophisticated digital technologies is positioned at the entrance. This element – on which beautiful tempered glass showcases for displaying food stand, almost like a decoration – forms a central monolithic structure intended for visible preparation and take-away sales.

“Large Capraia slabs characterise the tables and counter which, with its authentic marble look, has turned this place into a box full of stories and flavours that respect tradition and contemporary design, ensuring that anyone who visits it continues to feel at home.” The atmosphere is delightful, partly thanks to the use of warm materials such as the majolica tiles on the walls and the natural oak wood of the cupboards and boiserie, one element of which, located in front of the counter, supports the cantilevered top designed for rapid food consumption. The restaurant, with its irregular floor area, then narrows as it leads deep into a small room furnished with two short rows of tables whose tops are also made of The Top Marble Look Capraia Book Match, preserving, thanks to the discreet use of materials and colours, a harmonious sense of continuity.

Photo credits: Aldo Dith