Bogen Bistro

noa* network of architecture breathes new life into this space, transforming it into the welcoming Bogen Bistro poised between historical heritage and contemporary finesse.

  • area / size 2,024 sqft
  • Year 2021
  • Location Bolzano, Italy,
  • An ancient barrel-vaulted workshop hides under the dust of history along one of the oldest trade streets of Bolzano.

    The project involved the space on the ground floor where shoemakers, carpenters, carters, wood and fruit merchants worked in the 19th century, and where later the first restaurant on the street was established. Although the building preserved its charming original architecture, it had deteriorated over time. The Mayr family, current owners of the building, entrusted noa* with the restoration and interior planning for a new destination: the Bogen bistro.

    Historical Heritage
    The strong relationship with history was crucial in the definition of the project: both because the house is under monumental protection and because the design team wanted to emphasise to the fullest the original architecture of the arches, to which the bistro itself pays homage with the name “Bogen”, German for “arch”. On the exterior façade, the intervention consisted of a careful replastering in smoky white and an enlargement of the entrance arch. Here, a new tripartite black metal window follows the segmental arch and allows good natural lighting while providing an essential and timeless design.

    Bohemian Atmosphere
    During the first meetings between the clients and the interior designers, which focused on the ambience of the bistro, the clients’ desire to have a romantic, bohemian-style atmosphere emerged. In addition, the owner of the house, Roswitha Mayr, wanted to give the space a personal touch with her handcraft and artistic talents in the form of floral compositions. noa * took up these ideas and structured the design around a pivotal element: a welcoming 7-metre long counter placed under a ceiling of flower baskets.

    The long table as a convivial and informal solution in gastronomic ambience is a recurrent motif for noa*; in this case, the counter is also a worktop on the right side, without any stools and housing technical compartments. Other interesting details make this piece of furniture unique: the six legs are one different from the other and suggest an improvised table that a family might have made for itself. A mirror covers the central base and makes it disappear into the room. The top is a slab of Nacarado stone, chosen for its distinct veining and warm colour. Above the table, Roswitha’s personal creation is the large floral composition that seems to pour from the ceiling. The hanging rattan lamps, which also recall the basket motif, find their place among the flowers.

    Cozy Alcoves
    The shared space of the large counter contrasts with the intimacy of the small tables on the left side of the bistro, sheltered by the arches and overlooking the alley. The feeling of privacy is further accentuated in the first pair of arches, with seating built into the recesses and walls covered in fabric with an elegant floral print. The niche closing off the room is also designed in the same way. In a constant dialogue between past and present, noa* chooses to alternate new seats in wood and fabric with newly lacquered vintage chairs.

    There are two service areas: the kitchen, which has been completely renovated and is located at the end of the room, and the toilets. These have been accommodated in a box, clad with perforated metal panels, on which the same floral motif of the arches has been printed. In this way, noa* combines the technical requirements of acoustics with the venue’s aesthetics: the insulation panels are not visible under the perforated metal surface.

    Design: noa* network of architecture
    Photography: Alex Filz