Renowned for its seafood cuisine, the "I 4 amici" (the four friends) restaurant is located a short walk from the centre of Florence. Having recently undergone a total re-styling by architect Francesco Santoni, the venue has now taken on a whole new appearance thanks to the new face lift where the theme is the sea and its continuous motion. How was this achieved? A clever use of lights, colours and furnishings.
The references to the waves and the colour of the sand are in fact evident, uniquely portrayed by the grooved panelling that covers the walls of the dining hall. References rendered even more effective by the RGB LEDs positioned between alternating slots in the panels, which project a light that shines and changes in intensity and colour.
In the redefinition of the spaces, great importance was given to the entrance area, which serves to welcome clients. Here the bar counter in back-painted glass overlooks a porch which is closed in winter, but in summer it becomes one with the small garden, where appetizers and fish "finger food" delights are served, accompanied by a selection of the best bubbles.
One of the most challenging aspects was, however, to satisfy the desire of the client not to overly commit the dining hall to one function, in order to create a multi-purpose space which could be rearranged to even house art exhibitions. An original use of which has been a big hit among customers. Therefore, two walls have been purposely kept neutral, covered only by a lime plaster and arranged according to the preferences of the guest artist.
Much assistance is given to this end by the Vimar By-me home automation system and the various possible permutations of space that it offers.
The scenarios in fact offer multiple combinations of lighting and music to match the mood at any time. Aperitifs, dinner, special events, or art exhibitions: the lighting is always right. The coloured lighting cycles more quickly when guests are standing and having aperitifs, while softer tones are set for dinner or set to a fixed colour to match the desired theme for an artistic presentation: thus personalising the spaces to suit any preference.
Perfect accompanying music adds to the atmosphere, thanks to the Vimar sound system. Featuring wonderfully high fidelity obtained via the transmission of digital signals and the high quality of the speakers, the system can simultaneously manage up to 4 different audio sources – such as iPod and iPhone connected via Docking Stations – quickly and easily, allowing different music in each room.
The 10" Multimedia Video Touch screen placed at the entrance – chosen for this location with the Eikon Evo white diamond crystal plaque, which fits in perfectly with the lighter tones of the bar – offers simple and intuitive management of the lighting, the scenarios and music, as well as climate control and automation functions. The temperature of the three zones into which the venue was divided – the main dining room, the porch and the basement – can therefore be individually set for each environment from the one station, optimising resources and offering the ultimate in comfort. A light touch of the display is all it takes to activated the automated opening and closing routines of the structure that surrounds the winter garden.
Finally, the "load control" function, in addition to signalling when electricity consumption in the kitchen is close to the threshold levels via the graphical interface, also disconnects lower priority appliances before the circuit breakers can be triggered.
This minimalist but dynamic environment, even the furnishings follow a common theme. Complements in glass and crystal in places like the fireplace; false ceilings with skylights that allow natural light to pass; the detached ceiling perimeters give the impression that it is suspended in air: all of which convey a sensation of lightness, like a gentle sea breeze.
Home automation system: By-me
Home series: Eikon Evo
Project: Architect Francesco Santoni, Florence