The creation of a special place where simply feeling good is the key to interpreting this project, in contrast to the disposable design that characterizes our current era. In this sense, the design develops almost like a kind of metaphysical research, a deep investigation into the human being, starting with the senses, natural materials and artisanship used as research tools, brought together in a place that would like to last “forever”. In this creation, color functions as a design fulcrum – starting from the blue of the floor, the red of the bricks, the gray of the plaster, and the black of the ebony. These are the ingredients used by the Milan studio of architect Giuseppe Tortato. The Majer brand’s locations, ten throughout Venice, are characterized by particular attention to every detail: from the food served, to the people who make it, to the spaces where it is prepared and consumed. “Il Refettorio” is the result of the incredible synergistic work between this well-known Milan architecture firm and the client, represented by the charismatic Fabrizio De Nardis, nicknamed “Mr. Majer”. As has already happened for other Majer locations, starting from Giudecca almost ten years ago, the studio has handled the interior design of the entire project: from specifying the materials to designing the furnishings and lighting fixtures conceived and produced exclusively for this project. All of this work carried out by select artisans who worked side by side with the architect to create timeless pieces imbued with significance. The bar – the centerpiece of the room – was made with pewter and ebony, a choice dictated by the desire to use materials that would last over time and age well, always telling a new story through the changes in the surface that mark the passage of time. A unique piece that recalls its link with the city through the insertion of two metal bars on the front that record the two greatest historical levels of high water in Venice. A sort of trademark, conceived by the studio for Majer, starting with the first restaurant in the Giudecca and also used in its corporate packaging. All the furnishings of the two rooms were designed by the architect Giuseppe Tortato and made exclusively for this restaurant by artisanal producers. There is an intense focus on detail: the interlocking joints of the tables, the combination of materials and colors, as well as the metal skirting boards and grates that evoke the work of Carlo Scarpa. Studio Tortato has created an elegant, timeless place where people are always the central focus. A unique environment, illuminated by the warm light of the custom-made lighting fixtures that voluptuously bathes the furnishings, primarily made of solid wood. The colors capture the attention: dark shades, almost black, for the built-in furnishings and light oak for the tables and chairs against a background of stone, brick and plaster walls as well as the antique wood of the ceiling panels. The floor, an incredible blue terracotta, recalls the importance of color in the rooms and was created by the Fornace De Martino, a historic Salerno company that has been in business for 1200 years. Finally, the other "star" of the restaurant, in addition to the bar, is the minimalist staircase in exposed concrete, that appears to be suspended over the blue terracotta floor. A contemporary element, the result of a careful study of proportions and materials which in its simple purity is the visual fulcrum of the second dining room. The staircase is accented by a burnished metal handrail, the same finish as the baseboards and window frames, and a handcrafted parapet with intertwined metal strips. The combination of an environment designed and created with materials that boast a rich history and the magical atmosphere created by the exquisite care taken in the creation and presentation of the food makes "Il Refettorio" a restaurant designed for Venetians, where you can experience unique moments by completely immersing yourself in the historical soul of Venice.
Born in Venice, Giuseppe Tortato graduated from Milan Polytechnic and then moved to Massachusetts where he collaborated with a student of Paolo Soleri, working on bioclimatic design and emphasising the social role of architecture. Upon returning to Milan, he joined the Milano Layout studio and became its co-owner. In the early 2000s, he was the creator of the studio's main real estate projects. In 2012 he founded Polisfluxa Srl and Giuseppe Tortato Architetti, with a multidisciplinary and 'tailor-made' approach to architecture and interior design projects. The approach stems from research on the themes of sensory experience and sustainability, placing man and nature as central elements. With La Forgiatura he came to national and international attention. Today, with a multidisciplinary team of professionals, the design activity is developed nationally and internationally in the residential, tertiary, fashion and food retail sectors.