Balduccis is something of an institution in Cape Town: A restaurant, sushi bar and café situated in the top tourist destination in Africa, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The brief to interior designers, ARRCC, was to create a new fresh look for the existing space.
ARRCC decided to strip apart the current brand, trimming the fat to get to the essence of the brand.
This meant that they had to remove 95% of the existing interior to completely redesign the space. The client extended the restaurant footprint by enclosing the existing terrace space to allow for a climate controlled dining experience during winter. The challenge with the new enclosed space was to retain an outdoor dining feel whilst in an air-conditioned space. The solution was a timber pergola below the ceiling to give it that terrace feel.
The materials within the space were vital, and the designers decided to focus on the integrity of the materials themselves to create a sense of authenticity. They used raw steel, warm oak timber, bronze mirror, brass and stone washed dusty colours to give the interior an edge, this hopefully would also appeal to a wider target market as the space feels well-travelled, aged and edgy all at the same time. The main focus was for existing loyal customers to feel at home in the new interior while also appealing to a potential new customer passing by.
The B Sushi bar was directly inspired by a traditional Japanese Tea house. The space needed to sit within a busy shopping centre walk way and the challenge was to create a balance between intimacy and visual appeal. The ARRCC team achieved this by adding oak timber screens all-round the space. This created the Zen approach as well as allowed them to tie some of the materials back to the main restaurant. Both spaces feel unique, but at the same time are directly related.
The final design is a fusion of contemporary design, combining a modern African graphic with a monochromatic interior of raw and industrial finishes. Stained oak feature walls and screens divide the space into niche dining areas, transforming the original classic restaurant into a place where both foodies and design aficionados can meet.
Balducci and ARRCC were finalists in the prestigious Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2015.
Project name: Balducci
Project Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Interior Designer: ARRCC
Project Team: Mark Rielly, Jon Case & Nicole O’Reilly
Main furniture supplier: OKHA