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A restaurant caught between ground and sky

10 September 2020

The landscape of central Italy is justly famous for its gently rolling hills rich in olive groves and vineyards. Set amid them is the Tenuta di Sipio, a 66-hectare Abruzzo farm estate that retains the rural charms of a bygone time. The venue is available for private events, and part of the structure has recently undergone a renovation that has used bioclimatic architectural principles to transform an anonymous agricultural building into an exclusive restaurant.

The structural and lighting design was entrusted to the architect Rocco Valentini and his staff, who have developed an architectural concept with an ecological flavour, inspired by the symbol of the tree and the way its branches reach upwards, towards the light. Like a tree, therefore, the supporting structure rises from the ground in the form of a trunk that rests on a corner of the glass envelope. Radiating out from this, the structural elements – triangular cor-ten blades – interweave in a complex, harmonious pattern of branches between the floor and the ceiling: a sinuous crisscrossing of slender, organic elements that rise to the sky and return to the ground. Sloping perspectives and large glazed windows are beautifully highlighted by a play of chiaroscuro and soft lighting, which recreate the feeling of being outdoors.

L&L Luce&Light’s Ginko family of projectors, fresh from their win at the Muuuz International Awards (MIAW), proved to be best suited to this project. Ginko 2.0, with narrow 17° optics and anthracite finish, was chosen to light the restaurant; the projectors were fixed directly to the structure’s cor-ten branches. The result is an elegant, warm and intimate atmosphere that invites guests to relax and feel at ease as they share a gourmet dining experience.

Outside, Moby 2.1 underwater recessed fixtures with particularly minimal glass covers draw attention to the swimming pool. These fixtures garnered a German Design Award 2019 for their discrete look and for the range of solutions and lighting scenarios they can produce. The 16-mm-thick glass cover and vitrified serigraphy provide maximum impact resistance while ensuring the luminaires “disappear” into the pool’s lining, leaving only their light output visible. These fixtures are suitable for different types of underwater use (in seawater or thermal water, and even chlorinated pools) and can be installed at depths of up to 10 metres. The built-in IPS (Intelligent Protection System), patented by L&L, protects them from any water infiltrations.

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