An Italian company that makes candied fruit now has a dedicated space for cookery demonstrations, designed by Milan-based architecture office Co.arch Studio.
Cesarin has produced its fruity bakery products at a factory between Verona and Vicenza in Italy for over 100 years.
Co.arch Studio founders Andrea Pezzoli and Giulia Urciuoli worked with the company to create a pop-up kitchen for hosting live-audience events and filming videos for social media.
Built from plywood, this double-height structure is located on the first floor of one of the company’s existing factory buildings.
It incorporates a demonstration counter area, a kitchen, a meeting room, and storage and toilet facilities.
The design concept developed by Pezzoli and Urciuoli was to create the impression of a singular, solid volume within the room.
“The new volume was designed as a large piece of furniture, inspired by Antonello da Messina’s painting San Girolamo Nello Studio,” explained the duo.
The Renaissance artwork they refer to depicts a priest sitting in a study room where architecture and furniture appear as one.
“This painting is known for the impeccable use of perspective, restoring the image of a space that is lived in but at the same time utopian and rigorous,” Pezzoli and Urciuoli said.
Here, a similar effect is created. The structure was designed to look like a box with openings carved out of it, each incorporating a different function.
The demonstration counter sits within a large void at the front, although it is set on castors so it can be moved around.
A rectangular niche in the side wall creates a casual seat, while an arched doorway frames a staircase that leads up to a mezzanine level that functions as the meeting space.
The kitchen and toilet facilities are located within the volume, accessed from either a side door or via the counter area, while a cloakroom slots in underneath the stairs.
“The wooden volume highlights the height of the ceiling, defining the rhythm of the spaces with plays of solids and voids, and creating unprecedented internal views,” said the architects.
The plywood is made from okumè, a timber with a similar appearance to cherry.
The idea was to reference the fruit that Cesarin is best known for; the land surrounding the factory is famous for its Prunus Avium plantations, which produce a particularly sweet type of cherry.
Behind the plywood panels is a balloon-frame structure, with pillars and beams made from fir wood.
The entire construction was prefabricated by a carpentry workshop in South Tyrol, allowing the architects to achieve “a quality that would otherwise be impossible”.
The rest of the space is painted white, allowing the wood to stand out.
Pezzoli and Urciuoli liken the overall effect to that of a theatre. “To emphasise the theatrical aspect of the space, light wavy curtains resembling a curtain were used to darken the numerous windows,” they added.
Other recent projects in Italy include the Boyy flagship in Milan designed by Danish artist Thomas Poulsen and a sushi restaurant designed to resemble a futuristic spaceship.
The photography is by Simone Bossi.