Italian Eating in Islington

A new dining attraction has arrived in London from Milan. Designed by Studio Vudafieri-Saverono Partners, the Italian café Latteria is inspired by Milanese culture and style. It reinterprets in a contemporary way the charm of the old latterias (dairy stores) - places where you can eat genuine, homemade dishes, in an authentic and traditional context.

It is situated in Essex Road, Islington, an area which has seen a gastronomic renaissance in recent years. Apart from its growing reputation with Londoners, it attracts passers-by because of its bright red facade, dramatic signs and large window that lights up the interior.

The Latteria is laid out on two levels, designed in the 1950s style, characterised by a warm and informal feel, with an entrance accentuated by two curved glass walls that mark out a small vestibule. While the ground floor is distinguished by its deli-counter and lively atmosphere, the lower floor offers three rooms of more intimate space, including a cosy dining-room isolated from the buzz.

Customers are visually impressed by its interior where the designers have thought about every detail, ranging from Formica tables with aluminium frames, zinc counters, diamond tiled floor, exposed bricks and pendant lamps shaped like dessert moulds. All combine to create personality, enhanced by the colours white and red which dominate and surfaces in semi-gloss lacquer and laminate together with polished and satin-finished metals. Throughout the restaurant there are shelves and cabinets, in the 50s dairy style, designed to display pasta, oil, pickles, wines and other products.

As most designers appreciate, there is often a problem reconciling the noise of busy places like this with its hard surfaces. Clearly aesthetics and personal comfort should perform well together. The human senses of sight and smell should be accentuated but not the sense of sound. With the demise of carpeting, high performance acoustic solutions, especially in public places of leisure, have to be incorporated to avoid an increase in noise.

In this café, the designers have paid special attention to the ceiling. Here, Troldtekt’s acoustic ceiling panels have been used throughout to absorb both direct and reverberated sound. These not only create an interesting textured ceiling but help strike the balance between a lively and welcoming warm environment. The same acoustic solution, often extended to walls, is used for many different buildings, from schools to entertainment venues, from commercial to retail. This is important everywhere, especially for the comfort of customers because their willingness to spend time and money decreases in a noisy environment.

>> Find more information around the theme of ‘Acoustics in Restaurants’ here

Facts

Project:
Latteria Café, Restaurant and Bar in Islington, London
Architects:
Craft Architects, Pillar Interiors
Troldtekt Products
Ceiling panels:
Troldtekt acoustic panels
Colour:
Natural Grey, painted white in situ
Structure:
Fine (1.5 mm wood wool)
Edge design:
Square edge, K0
Text & Photos
Text:
Christopher Sykes, Pressential Ltd
Photos:
Rei Moon