The concept of Osteria Betulla relies on simple Italian food in the original version with an emphasis on high quality of products.
From the very beginning, we were orientated at the image of an "Italian dining hall", but in a very minimalistic and pure manner.
We knew how sacred the restaurant team felt about their work, so we wanted to translate that feeling into a visual image.
This is how we came to the idea of a certain “food temple” – a place resembling an uncluttered, minimalistic European chapel flooded with light.
At the same time, we wanted not just to recreate a classical Italian interior, but to bring the modern spirit of Italy to St. Petersburg, using traditional colours, shapes and materials.
In working over this project, we used the architectural dramaturgy characteristic of traditional churches. The guests get into the space through a tapering ensconced, shaded entrance. They enter into the first, dimly-lit small hall, and further – into the second hall flooded with light. This way the guests proceed smoothly from shadow to light. We widened all window openings in the hall (which is located in the basement, below the ground level) and lowered them to the seating level, for the hall to be better exposed to light and not be perceived as an underground vault.
We placed the elements referring to Catholic aesthetics practically everywhere. The centrepiece of the first hall is the metaphorical altar – a large table where the pasta chéf works. All the tables are turned towards him, which creates the effect of theatrical performance and allows the guests to watch the pasta making mystery. The zest of the second hall is the church pews in the centre.