Little Italy in Taj Mall

Little Italy in Taj Mall

Architect
Michaelis Boyd Associates
Location
Amman, Jordan | View Map
Project Year
2015
Category
Restaurants
Ali Saadi

Little Italy in Taj Mall

Michaelis Boyd Associates as Architects

What was the brief?
We were asked to designa spacious, airy two-storey Italian restaurant, cage and gellateria with a relaxed day to evening environment. The first restaurant of its kind in Jordan, it is set within Taj Mall, Amman’s unique and prestigious shopping, dining and entertainment centre.

The 630m2 internal space is divided into two sections, with a café and gelato bar at the front and a dining area at the back, separated by a striking sculptural steel and timber staircase that twists and turns up to a light mezzanine seating area. A central feature of the restaurant is an open pizza oven and grill kitchen, which adds theatre and energy to the dining experience.

 

What were the key challenges?
In order to achieve the ambitious vision for the new restaurant, major structural work was undertaken to create an open balcony dining experience on the upper level looking over the restaurant and kitchen, or out to the beautiful garden.

 

What materials did you choose and why?
A textured and handcrafted look is carried throughout interior, with geometric blue and white hand-painted tiles lining the walls, and timber logs sourced from local lemon trees cladding the kitchen counter, to create a natural and warm environment.

Contemporary, bespoke, glass pendant lights suspend from the upper level through a dramatic void. High ceilings run throughout, with large windows allowing natural light to enter the free flowing space. Wooden tables and chairs made by local craftsmen are positioned along the perimeter of the mezzanine.

Outside, the restaurant opens out to a large, 142m2 terraced garden on three levels, each featuring an olive tree at the centre, with trellises of vines and jasmine enveloping the space. The garden is a tranquil area surrounded by plants, and flowers that smell of Italy.  A small fountain and herb wall, from which herbs will be used in the food, create a romantic Italian-inspired setting.

 

Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: Existing - It was a refurbishment in a mall 
2. Flooring: Engineer timber boards and polished plaster at circulation zones
3. Doors: Custom, crittal type doors 
4. Windows: Custom, crittal type doors
5. Roofing: Exisiting as it was a refurbishment in a mall
6. Interior lighting: Custom
7. Interior furniture: Custom

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