Caffè del Voltone - Pieve di Cento (BO)

Caffè del Voltone

A bar in Pieve di Cento offers a taste of the past
Elisa Montalti
Andrea Bernagozzi - Francesca Albanesi (Officinarkitettura)
Year of completion

Bustling with life, the old porticoes of Pieve di Cento provide shelter from rain and sun and offer fascinating, unexpected views down side streets. The town maintains its former structure of a walled city enclosed by four gates, which are now integrated into the urban fabric in remembrance of past fortifications. Commissioned to renovate an old café located below the fifteenth-century «Voltone» from which it takes its name, a vaulted archway in the town’s main square, the architects decided to carry out a project in keeping with the spirit of the place. Their idea was to recreate the essence of the neighbouring Piazza Andrea Costa inside the café itself, underscoring its function as a relational space and hub of the town’s life. The renovation work also uncovered a number of important historical details of the original thirteenth-century building. Long concealed, these details were given pride of place inside the renovated café, juxtaposed harmoniously with more contemporary materials such as glass, ceramic and custom-designed wallpaper inspired by the town’s historic porticoes. This wallpaper, whose design reproduces the surfaces and timeworn patina of the porticoes, coordinates effectively with the café’s old wooden beams and exposed brick walls. Clearly visible from the street through the large windows, the interior design blends in with the context through a skilful play of reflections and references, further emphasised by the central frosted glass volume that encloses the food preparation area. This diaphanous white glass unit functions as a kind of large lamp thanks to the hidden LEDs which bathe the walls with light.
The elegant wood-effect porcelain floor tiles from the Country collection also play a key role in determining the café’s identity and creating a sense of seamless continuity. Supplied by Blustyle by Cotto d’Este, these 20×120 cm planks were chosen in the colour Creek and installed in a staggered pattern. The warm, variegated grey of the floor coordinates effectively with the café’s central counter, a custom-designed monolithic element which appears to be raised from the ground by a band of floor-level lighting and was clad with 5.5 mm thick Corten-effect panels produced by Cotto d’Este for the Kerlite series. These «Metallic Slabs», large fibreglass-backed laminated porcelain panels with their through-body colouring and high-definition inkjet decoration, create a novel surface effect. Along with its strength and versatility, this material also offers the health and safety benefits of Microban® technology, making it the ideal choice for a worktop used to serve food and drinks continuously in a setting that stands out for its warmth, elegance and hospitality.
With its splendid views, perspectives, wall textures and striking surface materials, the café is the perfect place for a refreshing break while strolling through the porticoes of Pieve di Cento.

Blustyle by Cotto d'Este, Country
porcelain stoneware
20x120 cm - spessore 10,5 mm
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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