Il Ferrarino is an Italian cuisine restaurant located in the heart of Casablanca, designed by RECS Architects, an international architectural studio based in Parma, Milan, Dubai, Belo Horizonte, Beijing and Chengdu. The goal of this creation was to bring a glimpse of Italian cuisine to an overseas location like Morocco. The restaurant has two dining rooms: one on the ground floor, in direct connection with the surrounding neighborhood, and a mezzanine one for private and exclusive events. The environment structured in this way creates a very special atmosphere, where the customer can both experience Italian cuisine and be immersed in the culture of the belpaese through the interior design. The Italian soul of its owners is the main ingredient that, combined with the local Moroccan heritage, creates a unique experience.
Located at the street level of a residential building, the restaurant takes place within a space used for the first time. Although the building has recently been restored, its ground floor has been vacant and program-free for years. Thanks to the generous volumes of the space and high ceilings, the designers managed to create a mezzanine that creates dynamic and lively environments. Far from the main roads, Il Ferrarino boasts a position that is not too chaotic, but at the same time intriguing, enhanced by its sculptural entrance. Slanted and converging towards the door, the large geometric portal is inviting passers-by to enter.
One of the first spaces to come in contact with is the kitchen area, which, through a long ribbon window, offers customers the opportunity to see the preparation of innovative dishes by Italian chefs. The main dining room also maintains a direct visual connection with the outside trough to the large full-height window that closes the space. By contrast, the elevated area of the mezzanine offers a reserved – but not entirely separated – experience from the other restaurant's areas thanks to the glazed balcony.
Il Ferrarino restaurant has a refined design that expresses the duality of its Italian and Moroccan soul. The inside and the outside are based on a neutral color palette such as beige, white, black, and gold. To add energy to the space, the architects chose a green palette that breaks the uniformity of the environment, creating a more fun and less severe space. The dark-toned furniture in the dining rooms create a contrast with the bright-coloured walls. Geometric wallpaper and paintings on the walls create a play of colors that bring vitality to the restaurant space. The green-gold foliage wallpaper is in contrast with the shiny white marble, enhancing the contrast, in order to express the duality of the Italian and Moroccan soul of "Il Ferrarino".
Sustainable natural materials and furnishings made from local resources are the foundation of the design. Through their collaboration with Italian artisans located near their studio, the architects were able to maximize the use of sustainable materials. For example, most of the furniture was made from recycled wood taken from trees that fell due to natural events like the 2018 Vaia flood. The wallpaper was printed on recycled paper, and to achieve a better result, the yellowish tone was maintained instead of whitening the paper to obtain a neutral white. The paintings that decorate the environment were created by young local artists from different workshops scattered throughout the city.
Location: Casablanca, Morocco
Architect: RECS Architects
Porcelain tiles: Fiandre Architectural Surfaces
All images courtesy of "Il Ferrarino"