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Cape Town, South Africa

Balduccis restaurant serves a blend of Californian and Mediterranean style food. It is located in Cape Town’s top tourist attraction, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, which lies below the iconic 7th Wonder of the Natural World, Table Mountain. The views are arresting, the food creative, traditional, and evocative of memorable “home-cooked” meals, but it is the atmosphere created by the interior design and décor that has established Balduccis as a favourite on the Cape dining scene. 20 years after we designed the original interiors for Balduccis, we redesigned the space, losing nothing of the intimacy and unique personality, but adding new layers to the character that only serve to enhance the experience.

The brief was to create a new, fresh look while retaining the integrity and history of the Balduccis identity, quality and loyal customer base. ARRCC decided to strip apart the current brand, trimming the excess that had built up over the years to get to Balduccis essence. This meant that they had to remove 95% of the existing interior to completely redesign the space. They decided to focus on the integrity of the materials used within the space to create a sense of authenticity and used raw steel, warm oak, bronze mirrors, brass and stone washed dusty colours to give the interior an edge. The hope was that this would also appeal to a wider target market as the space feels well-travelled, aged and contemporary all at the same time. The main focus was for existing loyal customers to feel at home in the new interior, while also appealing to a passers-by. Furniture includes upholstered banquette sofas which have been layered with pulled stitched leather panelling along the timber-clad side walls, as well as a central banquette sofa. To tone with the washed timber finishes, a putty colour was selected for the banquettes leather and cream for the panelling. The two-toning of leather has also been carried through into the bespoke dining chairs, designed by OKHA.

The new Balduccis restaurant is a fusion of contemporary design, combining a modern African graphic with a monochromatic interior of raw and industrial finishes. Sheet metal and leather contrasts with delicate blonde woods. Accents including old books, telephones and typewriters on the open display shelving, and contrast with the contemporary monochromatic interior and add a lived-in layer. Bronze mirror creates a sense of warmth and luxury and stained oak feature walls and screens divide the space into niche dining areas.