Barca, Italy

January 3, 2018

Fabio Fantolino transforms a Turin building into a 70’s eatery reminiscent of Italy’s west coast.

Formally a family pub, Barca is Located in a Turin building overlooking Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, in the Borgo Nuovo district of Turin, Italy.

The three-storey Italian restaurant’s interior is designed by architect, interior and product designer Fabio Fantolino.

Characterised by a consistent design that connects the first two floors, the furnishings contribute to the creation of a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Custom designed lighting consisting of diagonally cut cylindrical chrome profiles; custom-made tables of different colour laminates and Breuer sidechairs in Alcantra, recall the design of Italy’s West Coast in the 1970’s.

With a special focus on sofas and chairs, sea blue velvet, green dry cotton twill and hazel Alcantara alternate, covering the seats throughout the three floors and bringing a splash of colour to each space.

The counter is the protagonist of the ground floor space; the white circles on the wooden background are reminiscent of the typical geometries of 70’s interior design. The underground level houses an intimate and reserved area, where the dark shades of the walls are softened by the red melange tones of the seats, the space is punctuated by blue velvet screens and wooden panels.

“The clients wanted to turn this old family pub into a pizzeria restaurant with an international design,” Fantolino tells darc. “They expected a more industrial venue, but from the start we had a vision of the west coast in the 70’s with a touch of elegance. We showed them some examples and went through a strong and deep analysis of materials, lights and design trends. In a year, Barca’s was born.”

This was the first time the designer and his  team had developed a concept for a three-storey restaurant. “This was fascinating to us, because it was an opportunity to work with height and give each of the spaces a unique mood and atmosphere.” says Fantolino.

The decorative lighting strengthens the space’s dual atmosphere; the first floor has a light and airy ambiance while the basement houses a darker more reserved area. Iconic &Tradition Flowerpot VP1 pendants illuminate the bench table on the ground floor. Designed in 1968 and used predominantly in restaurant spaces, this classic light lends itself perfectly to the decor’s vintage theme. The Paw floor light, designed by Fabio Fantonino himself for lighting brand Phanto spreads soft warm light and creates a sophisticated focal point near the first floor window’s.

Minimalistic and angled LED Hexo ceiling lights by Wever & Ducre can be found on the first floor.

“We don’t usually work with a lighting designer, we prefer to research the decorative and technical lighting elements ourselves in order to have a common thread in every detail of the project. The lights really highlight the 70’s references, the shapes and colours.”

The result is a lighting scheme that gives the space hierarchy, enhances the interior details and offers the diners a chance to bask in the laid back atmosphere of the west coast in the centre of Turin.