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Interior Design: Osteria BALLA Manfredi

September 21, 2011

Luigi Rosselli Architects’ restaurant interior is inspired by the Futurist Manifesto and the industrial heritage of Milan.

Renowned chef Stefano Manfredi and architect Luigi Rosselli share a common Milanese heritage. The Milano of Stefano and Luigi is the once industrial earth of Italy – its industrial architecture and space is honest and cognisant of the quality of materials. Osteria BALLA brings the life of Milan’s Navigli canals to the shore of Sydney’s harbour.

Osteria BALLA’s namesake is the Futurist artist, Giacomo Balla, a Milanese painter who co-signed the Futurist Movement Manifesto in 1909 – an ode to industry and machines. One hundred years later, Milan’s industrial architecture remains, proud and beautiful.

Inside the restaurant, the kitchen and bar are raised up from the main floor level and are framed by concrete trusses that reference the bridges that span the Navigli canals. Mild steel with visible weldings and fixings are used throughout the fitout, inspired by the steel industry of Milan. The wine storage, meanwhile, is inspired by the factory floor pigeon-hole racks.

The waterfront side of the restaurant has come to be known as ‘The Avenue’, and acts as the connection between the inside of the restaurant and the larger waterfront landscape beyond the facade. Columns within The Avenue are clad with a modern floral mosaic tile, and branched with industrial Lingotto light fittings designed by Renzo Piano. Arranged in a Futurist inspired geometry, the multi-coloured ceiling panels above form a canopy of foliage and sky.

Team Architect: Luigi Rosselli, Designers: Jane McNeill, Bill McMahon, Rebecca Martin, Naoko Nishizu, Corrado Palleschi, Carl Rutherfoord, Kristina Sahlestrom, Sean Johnson

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