Caffè e Gelato, Berlino
ABK, CUSTOM-MADE DECORATIONS AND ITALIAN QUALITY
ABK collaborates with architects on custom-made products used in unique locations such as the new Caffè e Gelato ice cream parlour in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin
In the new Caffè e Gelato ice cream parlour in Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, designed by the Milan-based practice AzzoliniTinuper, surfaces from ABK have been used to give form and substance to the architects’ ideas. The result is an interior design project that celebrates Italian values, from the quality of materials through to craftsmanship, art and conviviality.
The concept explores the many facets of Italian quality. The world-famous excellence of Italian artisanal ice cream is reflected in the concepts of beauty and taste that underpin the interior design of the new location, which has been meticulously crafted in a style that combines classic and contemporary in a harmonious blend of colours and hues. The porcelain tile surfaces with macro decorations and patterns were also chosen in keeping with these key concepts.
The location’s interior design is dominated by a custom version of the special ABK Wide&Style decoration, a circle inscribed within a square that recalls the golden section, installed on the floor in 60x60 cm square modules produced to the architects’ specific design. The decorative motif is used to divide the space conceptually into areas inspired by major Italian cities, each of which forms a part of the visual narrative. “Starting out from the veined surface of Eco Chic Havana, we worked with ABK to develop a series of experimental decorations based on the superimposition of concentric circles and a striped effect,” explain architects Paola Azzolini and Paola Tinuper. “Our final choice was a cream-coloured line decoration for the macro carpet in the so-called Venice area, where it recalls reflections in the water of the lagoon. The same coffee tone decoration is used in the Milan area in the style of a walkway.”
The choice of ABK’s Eco Chic strips in the colour Havana was determined by the need for a warm and elegant wood effect surface with the same sophistication as original parquet. The small strips were cut to size from the planks and laid in an orthogonal, geometric grid coordinated with the other surfaces and patterns.
The walls of the open food preparation areas were tiled with the Sand coloured brick format from ABK’s Crossroad collection laid out in a vertical pattern, with the aim of achieving a majolica-inspired handcrafted aesthetic. The tiles stand out for their glossy surfaces and a handmade look that reflects the quality of the ingredients, craftsmanship and excellence of Caffè e Gelato.
“ABK’s willingness to collaborate by customising both the size and decoration proved crucial in enabling us to develop our design concept,” continue Azzolini and Tinuper. “The client appreciated our joint efforts to create a custom product that would make for an immediately recognisable project, as well as the choice of ceramic surfaces due to their versatility and excellent technical characteristics. As architects, we believe it is very important to design and coordinate surfaces with different materials, and ceramic tiles are always present in our projects due to the numerous benefits they offer.”
In addition to the beauty of their surfaces, ceramic tiles have superior characteristics to other covering materials such as wear resistance, hygiene and ease of cleaning, all of which are essential in spaces devoted to food preparation and consumption.
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