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Bali’s Da Maria restaurant gets an vintage Italian touch

by Simon Yuen on Aug 1, 2017 in Interiors , Top Story
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Da Maria in Seminyak, Bali draws from the classic colour palette of the architecture of Italy’s glorious Amalfi Coast for its meticulously orchestrated space

Da Maria in Seminyak, Bali draws from the classic colour palette of the architecture of Italy’s glorious Amalfi Coast for its meticulously orchestrated space

Bali's Da Maria Italian Restaurant is bringing a little piece of the Amalfi Coast to the other side of the world

Bali's popularity as a tourist destination means it must cater to a wide range of appetites. Numerous restaurants offering cuisine from different parts of the world operate in busy areas such as Kuta, Denpasar and Nusa Dua. Adding to the culinary landscape in Seminyak, Maurice Terzini and Adrian Reed of Bali's Motel Mexicola have joined forces to open Da Maria, aided by Carl Pickering of Italy-based architecture and design firm Lazarini Pickering Architects, who crafted the interiors. The result is a taste of vintage Italy in the heart of one of Bali's busiest tourism districts.

Carl Pickering says the ceiling is Bali's Sistine Chapel, where the team decided to enlarge some Giò Ponti-inspired motifs and manipulated them to create the very graphic ceiling that ties in the skylights

Carl Pickering says the ceiling is Bali's Sistine Chapel, where the team decided to enlarge some Giò Ponti-inspired motifs and manipulated them to create the very graphic ceiling that ties in the skylights

"Terzini, who is proud of his Italian and Mediterranean roots, wanted to bring great, fresh Italian food to Bali along with his style of hospitality and drinks," says Pickering. "We were inspired by the courtyard restaurants and bars of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. The fresh colours, rubber plants popular in the 1960s, fountains and super graphics were decontextualised and reinterpreted to create something that had never existed."

Terzini's Italian heritage was an essential element in creating the interiors of Da Maria, according to Pickering. The design is indeed reminiscent of a 60s' Amalfi courtyard with a cooling, fresh blue-and-white palette combined with bold geometric styling.

Every element was made by local artisans, combining Italian style with Balinese craftsmanship

Every element was made by local artisans, combining Italian style with Balinese craftsmanship

The design pays homage to legendary Italian designer Giò Ponti, who created the striking Sorrento hotel Parco dei Principi in 1960. Ponti pretty much oversaw the design of all aspects of the hotel, including its magnificent strongly graphic tiles. In Da Maria, Pickering wanted to create a cool, fresh air-conditioned space that also felt like a garden, while Terzini gave the design team the brief of reinterpreting classical Italian hospitality.

Da Maria serves simple, fresh yet uncomplicated Italian food in a tropical setting; the restaurant is based on a southern Italian courtyard in the 1960s

Da Maria serves simple, fresh yet uncomplicated Italian food in a tropical setting; the restaurant is based on a southern Italian courtyard in the 1960s

Central to the plans was simplicity married to a clean European sensibility, offset by Bali's abundant greenery populated by rubber trees, cacti and passionfruit vines, spiralling down the walls from the Roman Pantheon-inspired skylights, which can be opened when the weather is favourable. Three fountains finished with geometric blue and white tiles sit beneath locally crafted chandeliers that use simple festoon lighting, again reminiscent of those courtyard restaurants.

This is an excerpt from the “Vintage Italy, courtesy of Bali" article from the Jul/Aug 2017 double issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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