Bifulco Exclusive: sustainable meat boutique and gourmet sandwich bar
Architect Michele Piccolo evokes traditional butchers' shops and industrial spaces through customised use of the Evolutionmarble and Grande Metal Look collections.
A butcher's shop and sandwich bar complex of over 300 m2 has been created in an old '50s factory building in the heart of Ottaviano (Naples). With bar and tartare aperitifs on the ground floor and gourmet sandwich bar on the first floor, Bifulco Exclusive is a great place to spend time. The conversion and interior design project are by Naples firm Architetto Michele Piccolo + Partners, which has drawn inspiration from northern European meat boutiques, referenced by the completely glazed cold store at the entrance and the continual evocation of marble in different textures and colours: from the onyx covering of the cold stores to the forest brown of the counters.
"Since we wanted to evoke old-fashioned butchers' shops, where marble was the main material," Michele Piccolo tells us, "we looked for a product which would be similar but with technical and performance characteristics more suitable for a catering location." The black and white flooring on the ground floor is dominated by a meander motif. "We started from the Marazzi Evolutionmarble porcelain stoneware collection and customised the standard slabs to originate a texture that gives a completely new interpretation to the classical view of marble. Beginning with the tiles' "commercial" size, we created nineteen basic pieces installed, in a precisely defined pattern that alternates the Nero Marquina and Calacatta colours and is midway between a meander and a cable pattern."
The upper floor is dominated by the unscreened kitchen, seamlessly joined to the dining-room. This large space had to be harmonised and given warmth through the choice of materials. Michele Piccolo applied a "carpet" of metallic textures with decorated inserts: "Since we had to reconcile the customer's preference for an "industrial" design language with the elegant mood befitting a gourmet location, we opted to combine porcelain stoneware and natural stone. The dining-room floor thus adopts the MarazziGrande Metal Look Iron Dark collection, in the large 160x320cm size, and decorated lava stone inserts by Pecchioli of Florence. The same porcelain stoneware size was also used on the floor of the professional kitchen, this time combined with a marble-effect glass wall covering".
Nowadays, stylistic considerations must be combined with an awareness of sustainability, which runs from optimisation of resources to the choice of materials, selected not only for their performance, care needs and durability, but also for the certifications provided. "The cleanliness and hygiene of places where foods are processed and served is an essential prerequisite," Michele Piccolo continues, "and this was fundamental for our choice of porcelain stoneware, since it combines chemical, physical and mechanical resistance with easy cleaning and exquisite appearance."
Marazzi Grande Metal Look and Evolutionmarble hold GreenGuard certification, guaranteeing strict limits on chemical emissions into outdoor environments, and contribute to the award of credits for the construction of buildings in accordance with LEED certification.
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