abboCCa is an Italian bistro offering an enjoyable spot for spending time with friends while tasting good wine and food in the middle of the crowed Sanlitun area of Beijing. Large sculptural concrete platforms in the front patio work as an urban stage inviting to enter. A white curved diagonal ceiling, bright orange resin on floor and a touch of olive-green colour for both wine displays and food shelves define the internal space, specifically designed to convey a joyful atmosphere and feeling of being together.
name: ABBOCCA bistroteca
location: Beijing, Sanlitun
function: restaurant, bistrot
area: 170 m² + 20 m² patio
design by: RAMOPRIMO
project team: Marcella Campa, Stefano Avesani, ZhaoXinyi 赵心怡,
Giacomo Squaquara, Zhang Nan 张楠
client: abboCCa / SMFK / BuonaBocca
photographer: Zhang Hui 张辉 + Marcella Campa
The bistro is located on the ground floor of a former office and industrial building complex from the 70’ies that has been recently turned into a creativity hub, attracting companies dealing with fashion, design and life-style. The main design challenge was here to deal with the given space, characterized by a very low ceiling full of old pipes, oversized pillars and steps on floor at different levels… all elements that have been kept exposed to add a sense of dynamics to the new concept. The existing walls have been totally demolished on one side creating a large opening to ensure a strong visual connection to and from the street, and bringing natural light deeply inside.
In front of it, a concrete platform is offering a long interactive setting for welcoming and socialization, where people can freely choose different seating options. The result is a fresh and contemporary insertion standing out of the flat style of the façades of the surrounding industrial office buildings. The new façade features a white curved metal canopy, that keeps together and provides shadow to the concrete volumes of platforms and benches, designed to remind to the typical solid benches of the Mediterranean patios. Olive-green steps positioned along the entrance work as a public stage directly accessible from the street, emphasizing the social interaction role of the entrance platform.
The external white canopy is then extending inside the restaurant space, blurring the border between inside and outside, and shaping an unified ceiling for the dining area, with smooth curved corners, that suggest a domestic feeling of being protected. A bit further inside the store, the ceiling is suddenly cut along a clear diagonal line, which is radically defining two separated areas: the one for customers and the one for service.
In the customers’ area, floor starts at an higher level in the entrance, painted with a grey concrete color, which is surprisingly changing into a bright orange color as soon as it becomes a step lower, right in front of the food fridge displays and the bar. Color scheme for seating cushions and chairs is echoing the changes of grey and orange color palette on floor.
Position for bar and displays has been strategically designed to accompany customers choosing dishes and placing their orders along a clear path. Approaching counters, customers will also enjoy the view to the very internal and lively core of the store: exposed kitchen, fresh mozzarella lab, wine displays and products’ shelves, grill and chef’s working tables, which are all designed with a signature olive-green color as a unified background for the entire restaurant. All over the food counters, exposed existing pipes and concrete beams are revealed, also painted in green to merge with the background.
The concept idea for abboCCa bistroteca is merging different suggestions, visions and needs. The warm sense of southern Italy has been evoked both physically, with the use of long masonry benches, and visually, with colours reminding to a typical courtyard orchard with orange and olive trees, combined together with design to create a vibrant and fashionable touch. Logo and graphic elements have all been also developed by RAMOPRIMO designers to become an integral part of the whole space identity of the new brand.