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The scenic green ‘Benetti Moss’ in a trendy restaurant in Manila

5 September 2022

Architect Tomaso Piantini of arcHITects, a Milan-based architecture firm, has signed the design for the ‘Salvatore Cuomo Café,’ a restaurant in Manila, Philippines, in 2019 by Salvatore Cuomo, an Italian from Naples, a chef best known in Japan, where he runs more than 100 establishments with a specialization in pizzerias, and who also runs establishments throughout Asia. In the Manila restaurant, the first “Salvatore Cuomo Café” to open in the Philippines, the pizza concept is less present, although the iconic ‘Salvatore Cuomo’ branding stands out on the imposing oven encased in a column of riveted copper panels.

‘Salvatore Cuomo Cafe’ has a light and fresh format and is located inside the centrally located mall ‘The Podium’ in Manila’s business district. Popular for both business lunches and dinner, it offers a relaxing space within the chaotic city. The restaurant covers 200 square meters with well-divided bright spaces and a patio with veranda, totaling more than 80 covers. ‘The Podium’ mall is characterized by numerous natural references, starting with the green covering of the facade. In conceiving the design for the ‘Salvatore Cuomo Cafe,’ architect Piantini chose to recall the green idea suggested by the mall’s exterior inside the restaurant.

The Benetti Moss wall measures 5×4 meters and was designed so that it would become one of the distinctive elements of the restaurant. It is one of the few supplies imported directly, while much of the furniture was manufactured or purchased locally. Made from Cladonia Stellaris, a 100% natural and stabilized lichen collected from the forests of Northern Europe, the wall offers a distinctive image with great aesthetic impact. The collaboration between arcHITects and Benetti Home has developed over time in other projects where the vertical garden was included for a shopping center and in a major office renovation in Milan.

The Benetti Moss wall repels mold and was chosen for its unique characteristics – better than other products – allowing it to withstand Manila’s 90% humidity very well, even if the restaurant room is enclosed and glazed and is not directly exposed to the outside climate.

Manila’s ‘Salvatore Cuomo Cafè’ was awarded the prestigious 2022 BigSee Award by the Slovenian design association, a recognition that draws support from prestigious brands such as Gaggenau, Hansgrohe, Geberit, Nordica, Tekcell. The award for the interior category was given to arcHITects on May 5, 2022 at an event held in Ljubljana.

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