Emanuele Svetti designs Osteria Moderna in Arezzo
The dining place’s name is Osteria Moderna. It opened on the 8th of April 2021 at the exit of the motorway of Arezzo, the home city of Vasari, Petrarca, Guido d’Arezzo and Piero Della Francesca to mention a few; a real jewel in the heart of Tuscany. A place that recalls ancient times and habits and now rises again with a renovated look through a restyling project realized by architect Emanuele Svetti, Studio Svetti Architecture. The concept, designed 5 years ago in the Tuscan Architecture Studio, is now a sign of hope: “The ideas come out from the darkness to see the light” as the architect said.
In the Osteria Moderna project, colour was the starting point, a chromatic tone dear to the city: amaranth, in its particularly warm and enveloping shade of red, which is revealed inside the restaurant in “full- colour”, with the same impetus of an intrepid heart.
As in the past, even at the Osteria Moderna, you are welcomed in the “mescita” space (serving area), which separates those who just want to rest for a short break from people looking for a longer stay. In old taverns, the dining area was hidden from people passing by and it was also separated from the bar area where people played cards and drank together. In Osteria Moderna, the café area is the first filter, with snack corners for “hit and run” consumers.
Passing through a system of metal separators designed by the Studio, there is the restaurant area where you can have a meal in an elegant and rarefied atmosphere, characterized by the uniform colour of the environment on which metal elements and concrete inserts are integrated, with a calibrated use, almost as if engraved.
“Sometimes, it is really great to enjoy delicious scents, strong flavours and typical colours” and this is the concept designed for the coverings and floorings. Made as if it were a continuous surface, the floor is in epoxy resin, with inserts made of decorated grit and with a Venetian Terrazzo effect, which creates an unconventional mix of colours and materials. At the centre of the restaurant area, a carpet made with custom-made cement tiles in three shades of grey creates an unexpected chromatic variety, but is also a point of attraction within the environment, thanks to the strong contrast created by the Studio.
Metal tables with strictly minimal lines are combined with a top in grey polished concrete that recalls the old furniture of trattorias where wood and marble prevailed. The sizing and positioning of furnishings allow a wide use in the environment, so, according to the circumstances, it could be used as a banquet room and it is also in line with all post-pandemic distancing regulations.
The terracotta-coloured curtains with specific design, the imposing wine cellar in burnished sheet metal used as background for the restaurant and the balcony covered with silver ribbed glass on a metal frame complete the interiors. Along a wall of the restaurant area, the upholstered seats were realized by an upholsterer following the Studio Svetti Architecture design, whereas, with their strict lines, the ArchiStool stools prevail in the snack area.
“Over time, I have learnt how light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin – the architect said – when the sun illuminates a place, the shadow comes consequently and, therefore, in my interiors I include a light which is followed by shadow”. This dialogue between light and shadow recalls the romantic, refined light of candles in the country houses. Soft lighting recalls the ancient places where the light was merely functional and rarely aesthetical with clouds of smoke combined with the ethereal vaporous of the kitchen which was often connected to the living room.
From this point of view, colour had a double function of creating a more harmonious environment and, at the same time, adjusting light on the time of the day to create an extremely relaxing half-light. On the contrary, the café area is very bright: Natural light enters from the windows located along the sides of the building, whereas, during the night it is replaced by soft artificial light streams which create an intimate and confidential atmosphere.
This contrast between day and night with a play of lights and shadow specifically designed is part of the charm of the place. It is a sort of reinterpretation of the Tuscany spirit which can be seen also in the gastronomic offer of traditional Tuscany dishes and proposals from other cuisines.
Photo credits: Andrea Bartolozzi, Greta Costeri