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Beijing, China


Gilles Bihi-Zenou





Restaurant & Bar Design Awards | London

In the heart of Beijing, where modernity meets history, Florentina Italian Restaurant stands as a testament to the power of interior design and architectural solutions. Spanning a generous 250sm, this beacon of casual fine-dining is not just a culinary haven but a space that resonates with the ethos of history, art, and culture.

The challenge was monumental: to craft an experience that would transport diners to the birthplace of the Renaissance, all while nestled in the urban landscape of Beijing. The vision was clear and ambitious: a dining space that would capture the reverence, the richness, and the grandeur of Florentine culture, reimagined for the contemporary diner.

Every corner of Florentina speaks of intention, detail, and a profound understanding of restaurant design. The walls, adorned with wallpaper showcasing woodcut patterns, depict scenes from idyllic Italian countrysides juxtaposed with ominous clouds, evoking a sense of nostalgia and drama. The marble tiles, meticulously chosen, add a touch of timelessness, ensuring the restaurant remains a sanctuary of casual fine-dining.

But the brilliance of Florentina lies not just in its interior design but also in its architectural solutions. The lighting design is nothing short of a masterpiece. Decorative lighting in the form of slanted cubes casts a gentle glow over the bar, creating an ambiance of warmth and intimacy. Behind the bar, a dramatically lit wine cellar, enclosed in glass, showcases an array of fine wines, beckoning connoisseurs to indulge in a sensory journey. Throughout the dining room, explosive brass light fixtures illuminate the space, their intricate designs casting mesmerizing shadows and adding depth and character to the room.

The seating arrangement, too, has been crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Free-standing tables offer flexibility, while banquette seating provides a sense of comfort and intimacy. For those seeking a touch of exclusivity, semi-private nooks offer unparalleled views of the lush Lido Park, allowing diners to immerse themselves in nature's beauty. And for the culinary enthusiasts, seats that offer direct views into the chef's kitchen provide a front-row experience to the art of cooking.

Designed in collaboration with the renowned Australian designer Emma Maxwell, Florentina Italian Restaurant is more than an award-winning restaurant; it's a celebration of restaurant design. Every design choice, every material, from the brass lighting fixtures to the woodcut-patterned wallpaper, speaks of luxury, elegance, and a commitment to offering an unparalleled dining experience.

In essence, Florentina Italian Restaurant is a symphony of interior design and architectural solutions. It's a space that pays homage to the richness of Florentine culture while offering a casual fine-dining experience that is truly second to none.

Lukasz Kos
Andrei Zerebecky
Emma Maxwell

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