"Il Ferrarino" is an Italian cuisine restaurant located in the heart of Casablanca, Morocco. Designed by RECS Architects, the goal is to bring a piece of Italian cuisine to a foreign location such as Morocco. The restaurant has two dining rooms: one on the ground floor, in direct connection with the surrounding neighborhood, and a mezzanine for private and exclusive events. The atmosphere creates a formal environment where the customer can experience not only Italian cuisine but is also immersed in the culture of the Belpaese through the design. The Italian soul of its owners is the main ingredient that, combined with the local Moroccan heritage, creates a dish to be savored.
Located on the ground floor of a residential building, the restaurant project takes place within a space used for the first time. Although the building has recently been restored, its ground floor has been vacant for years, never used until now. Thanks to the generous volumes of the space and high ceilings, the designers managed to create a mezzanine that gives the restaurant the possibility of creating different environments to meet the needs of customers. Far from the main roads, Il Ferrarino attracts the attention of passers-by with its sculptural entrance. Slanted and converging towards the entrance door, the large geometric portal is inviting customers to enter.
Entering the building, 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 are the foundation of the design. The architects used sustainable materials and furniture made from local resources, both in Italy and Morocco. 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"