Happily nestled in between land and lake in the small Swiss hamlet of Pojana, Ristorante Terminus has been recently reborn as a haven of gastronomic delights after an extensive refurbishment programme that took over 12 months.
The new look Ristorante Terminus spoils gourmets with a refined cuisine specialising in seafood. It also offers something pretty special for the Tile Addict. I have to admit that I am a somewhat of a sucker for architecture that takes very simple, modest construction materials, and uses them imaginatively to create unexpected, striking and rigorous forms.
At Ristorante Terminus, architects Gaffurini Pagani Tresoldi Associates developed a project based on several clear elements: pink cladding, a wooden herringbone façade and a prevailing grey colour. The aim was to create a form and aesthetic treatment that respected the existing structure without affecting the delicate relationship with the restaurant’s setting.
The end result is a series of beautiful dining rooms suitable for every event, a smoking lounge with cigars and spirits, a cellar that conserves exquisite and well-known wines, an al-fresco dining area on the terrace overlooking the lake, and gardens that can be used for small events and aperitifs.
Built at the end of the 1800s as a station for stagecoaches that passed between St. Gallen and Varese (hence the name), the building has gradually become larger and, in the 1980s, was transformed into a restaurant with accommodation for staff and patrons. For the refurbishment, Gaffurini Pagani Tresoldi used ceramic tiles as the basic element to maintain an effective yet innovative design.
A walkway leads from the parking area to the ground floor. Beyond the impressive entrance one sees a modern glass showcase where the daily catch is on display and, turning, can see the chefs at work in the open kitchen.
Drawing on the tradition of fishmongers, the revisited modern style plays with the shades of thousands of small format tiles that cover the walls: an effect perhaps most keenly experienced when going up the stairs.
What is so clever about this project is that the crucial design element – a small elongated three-dimensional tile with a semi-circular section – is, of itself, so modest. However, used in a carefully-selected palette and arranged like so many coloured crayons on the walls, the architects have been able to transform these glazed tiles from Senio into an innovative and impressive decorative system.
A new post from Joe Simpson’s Diary of a Tile Addict, January 2017