Coop.FI Novoli – Il Laboratorio del Gusto, Florence




Unicoop Firenze


Via Forlanini 1, Florence,


March 2012


Space configuration and design


Paolo Lucchetta


Giovanni Frisan
Riccardo Fracasso


Interior Design concept

Photos by

Marco Zanta

A urban space devoted to food, “know-how” and socializing.

The Andrea Bianchini’s “Il Laboratorio del Gusto” represents the missing piece to fully understand the potential innovation of format in Novoli, a project oriented to get the importance of social opportunity around the theme of food and the quality of its production.

This is because of several reasons, the first one –linked to the evolution of commerce– is about the established trend in contemporary markets to believe that food tasting is an essential part of the shopping experience, for reasons that have to do with the multi-sensorial dimension of space and with the social gathering potential that everything around food expresses with particular intensity.

Other reasons are related with the peculiar place of urban regeneration, the ex-industrial Fiat area in Novoli. Il Laboratorio del Gusto will have a central role for the relations between the residents and the new “urban commuters”, people who work or study in the adjacent university and office buildings.

This relations have to do with the “know how” of the young chef and business man, Andrea Bianchini, whose art is considered as a central element of the installation: a single plate glass wall and a number of seats watching inside the laboratory will let the costumers watch the gestures of the young and talented team of chefs at work.
Even these details belong to those values related to the diffuse need of Food Education, which are the base of the Coop culture.
The space is deliberately built in a way to suggest unusual sensations, suspended between the Novoli square and the Market, like a sort of bridge from where is possible to watch and be feed with the energy of unexpected urban visions.

The choice of materials and furnishings has been oriented by the desire to create a simple place, made by relations with the context, by the centrality of the passion for food with materials and shapes that inspire sociability and conviviality.
For this reason, the tables and chairs are positioned and arranged to further the view of the three panoramic scenarios: the square, the market, the laboratory of the chefs.

The tables have been selected of different heights, so that people can choose and vary the type of tasting according to the different situations that arise in the course of the day. The 50 chairs, all different, propose different ways of use the space. To choose a seat becomes a way to read and interact with space.
Lights, simple LED projectors, holds glass lamps of different sizes that collaborates to create a deliberately informal and simple environment, but never monotone or accidental.
Finally, a strongly characterized space from the Coop values but also oriented to innovation and towards new forms of expression of the quality of the food, know-how, the pleasure of sharing a social space.

Look at the project of Coop.FI Novoli →

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