The site is situated on the Harbour side of the V&A Waterfront, the shop shares amazing views of the boat yard and Marina. The Balducci restaurant was a project we completed 20 years earlier and developed itself as an institution at the world famous V&A Waterfront. The Client decided that Balducci was ready for a complete facelift.
The brief was to create a new fresh look while retaining the integrity and history of the Balducci identity, quality and loyal customer base. The same brief applied to the existing Royal Sushi Bar directly outside the restaurant. The Sushi bar, now called, B Sushi needed an authentic Asian feel but must be directly linked to the aesthetic of the Balducci interior.
ARRCC decided to strip apart the current brand, trimming the fat to get to the essence of the brand. This meant that we had to remove 95% of the existing interior to completely redesign the space. The client extended the restaurant footprint by enclosing the existing terrace space to allow for a climate controlled dining experience during winter.
The challenge with the new enclosed space was that we still wanted to retain an outdoor dining feel whilst in an air-conditioned space, we added a timber pergola below the ceiling to give it that terrace feel. The materials within the space were vital, we decided to focus on the integrity of the materials themselves to create a sense of authenticity.
We used raw steel, warm oak timber, bronze mirror, brass and stone washed dusty colours to give the interior an edge, this hopefully would also appeal to a wider target market as the space feels well-travelled, aged and edgy all at the same time. Our main focus was that we wanted existing loyal customers to feel at home in the new interior while also appealing to a passers-by.
The B Sushi bar was directly inspired by a traditional Japanese Tea house, the space needed to sit within a busy shopping centre walk way, the challenge was to create a balance between intimacy and visual appeal. We achieved this by adding oak timber screens all-round the space, this created the Zen approach as well as allowed us to tie some of the materials back to the main restaurant. Both spaces feel unique, but at the same time are directly related.
The furniture includes upholstered banquette sofas which have been layered with pulled stitched leather panelling along the timber clad side walls, as well as a central banquette sofa. To tone with the washed timber finishes, a putty leather colour was selected for the banquettes and a cream leather for the panelling. The two toning of leather has also been carried through into the bespoke dining chairs.
The soft curved shapes of the dining chairs reflect the curvaceous feature bar. Old books, telephones and typewriters contrast with the contemporary monochromatic interior and add a lived in layer to the open display shelving. The new Balducci restaurant is a fusion of contemporary design, combining a modern African graphic with a monochromatic interior of raw and industrial finishes.
Sheet metal and leather contrasts with delicate blonde woods. Bronze mirror creates a sense of warmth and luxury. Stained oak feature walls and screens divide the space into niche dining areas, transforming the original classic restaurant into a place where both foodies and design aficionados meet. Source by ARRCC.
Location: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
Interior Architecture: ARRCC
Project Team: Mark Rielly, Jon Case, Nicole O’Reilly
Interior Decor: ARRCC
Main Furniture Supplier: OKHA Interiors
Photographs: Courtesy of ARRCC