Looking out on 28th Street on street level with the Hotel Indigo of Chelsea, New York, this is the most recent locale conjured up by Delrosso for the Bice restaurant chain. Here too he has eschewed the “folklore” approach to conveying the concept of Italian-ness, all centred on the city of Milan, the epicentre and emblem of today’s new Italian style, its frenetic urban rhythms intercut with the city’s proverbial evening aperitif culture, but also its contemporary and cosmopolitan style laced with international memes, cleaving to all things Italian such as the nation’s gastronomical zest and the custom of tarrying around the dining table. Hence the idea was to create a container with a neutral colour scheme, an uncluttered setting of open spaces with a fluid feel in which the colours and flavours of Italian cuisine would reign supreme. This does not exclude ample allusions to the more Mediterranean mood of courtyards with their keen sense of threshold between inside and out. The dehor is conceived as a sort of “reminder of the erstwhile Mediterranean portico” realised in flexible canes in white resin. The natural extension of the CafèB is a lounge space on the roof of the building, a homage to the city of New York, its verticality and its characteristic rooftops and water-tanks. “The New York skyline is a real place, not just an image,” observes Delrosso. “Its a landscape that becomes architecture, albeit one that is spontaneous rather than planned.Which is why I wanted to create the same effect, avoiding stylistic re-workings or expressions and instead try to underscore the visual impact, with low fixtures that allow unimpeded viewlines, and with the same palette of colours and materials as the surrounding landscape.” The metal seating, alternated with customised chaises-longues, are little atolls on which to rest and take part in the surrounding panorama. “These are larger and softer to emphasise the diversity of volumes and solutions, as actually happens with any ‘spontaneous’ territory. And so as to reduce the boundaries between the SkyB and the outside we installed frosted glass for the windows. At certain times of day the view becomes evanescent, almost dreamlike.” The reconstruction of the water-cistern, completed in tandem with Rosenwatch, the oldest water-tank production company in America, became a very special type of dining-room on the occasion of the Dining by Design 2013, a fund-raising event organised by Diffa (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) for research, “These hulking features dotting the city’s rooftops always struck me as presenting a sort of parallel world, a ‘world above the world’ separate from the bustle down below, yet linked to what is going on down there. If we consider this ‘aerial world’ as another space for living, maybe we can realise how the growth of the city does not necessarily entail more buildings. At times all we need to do is look differently at the areas that are as yet unused.”
superficie: 400 mq
photo credits: Adrian Wilson
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