Designing unique fine-dining

Characterised by an unpredictable shade of red, exotic foliage wall coverings and a prominent wine gallery, a five-star eatery ticks all the boxes to create a culinary experience.

It is hard to imagine that the original space at Rosami at The Villa was large, square-like and open, with an imposing pillar in the middle, a remarkably high ceiling with an ornate gypsum soffit and walls and apertures on three sides.

It was used for events and parties, but the brief and scope of the Xara Collection project, as assigned to the camilleriparismode project studio, was to turn the space into a fine-dining restaurant.

It, therefore, needed to incorporate a kitchen extension, a private dining room, and the main restaurant/dining area, within the same space.

The client’s concept was to create a space that was both chic and contemporary; that could give patrons a unique fine-dining and culinary experience.

Driven by this brief, the studio decided to include a prominent wine gallery during the development phase of the layout plan. The thinking was it would constitute a compartmentalised space, which ‘sat’ distinctly within the main dining area, while accentuating it and complementing the existing fabric.

The gallery was designed to be used primarily by the sommelier, but it also welcomes customers to walk in and browse the wine selection.

To highlight the geographical positioning of the build and space, the studio preserved and enhanced the existing apertures to bring the outdoors in, highlighting the views of Balluta Bay and the exquisite art nouveau Balluta Buildings as well as the neo-Gothic Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.

The studio also decided to add a gender-neutral bathroom to the restaurant to add accessibility within the same floor as the dining areas.

To complete the concept, the team decided to extend the experience beyond the restaurant, with patrons being introduced to an enhanced ambience from the regal staircase separating the lower and upper floors.

From a bland, white staircase, the studio opted to dress the space with a customised wall covering, portraying luscious, exotic foliage, complemented by tall leafy Kentia palms, thereby adding a sense of anticipation to the impending culinary experience.

The intervention

The walls and high ceiling were stripped of any gypsum accretions. Due to all the required services, such as AC units, air vents, lighting and speakers, the studio opted to install an acoustic slatted timber soffit with concealed lighting and a shadow gap along the walls, which added an illusionary weightlessness to the ceiling.

The round column located in the middle of the dining area was included in the structure of the wine gallery. It is completely disguised and disappears into the new space layout.

The studio also kept the existing parquet floor, which was treated and polished to achieve a more contemporary tone. Both the floor and ceiling have a strong, warm, wooden element.

An important aspect of this project was the choice of an “unpredictable” shade of red, muted, or dusty – a colour that changes and shifts according to the time of day and the light at play. This was paired with a warm light grey on both the walls and the curtain fabric.

The walls are defined by a subtle modern panelling that allowed the studio to include all the apertures of varying sizes and to harmonise the proportions of the space.

The lighting is another all-important aspect that was considered throughout the project’s progress: most of the generic lighting is concealed into the slatted soffit while the decorative lighting is mainly used to bring focus to design elements, accents or even spaces.

The Davide Groppi moon in the private dining room is one such statement, as well as conversation piece.

The feeling

A distinct feeling immediately pervades the rooms at Rosami. On entering the space, patrons quickly forget they are in the middle of a busy, bustling, coastal town.

For the camilleriparismode team behind the project, Rosami, through its interior design, possesses an air of the cosmopolitan; an ephemeral feeling that is only dispelled once the neighbouring architectural gems are caught peeping in through the windows.

Related Posts
Read More

A house like me

This 450-year-old Birgu townhouse is a big part of its owner, Claude Zammit Trevisan. A life-long project, at once fragile and fascinating, he believes the house chose him… and is now an extension of himself.