The 1950s and 1960s are recognised as a golden age in Italian design, when avant-garde designers reinvented objects and spaces with modern functionality and elegance. This era provided inspiration for the design of Brunetti by Technē Architecture + Interior Design. Drawing on modern Italian design and traditional materials, it features sleek forms, terrazzo surfaces and banquettes upholstered in Pelle’s Casa leather range.
Brunetti in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, spans nearly 850 square metres, with a horseshoe-shaped coffee bar, suspended wood-fired pizza oven, and dedicated Campari bar offering all-day drinks and dining. There is also an all-weather alfresco area, and a private bar and dining area in the converted bank vault in the basement.
To create the quintessentially Italian venue, Technē looked to the work of modernist designers, particularly Ettore Sottsass, Carlo Scarpa and Angelo Mangiarotti, and paid homage to some of the classic materials of Italian design: leather, terrazzo, marble and timber inlay.
Italians have been working with leather for hundreds of years, establishing guilds in the medieval era. In keeping with traditional Italian materials, Technē specified Casa leather in colour “Ale” for the upholstery of the banquette seating. Brunetti required a durable, economical and hard-wearing leather that would endure the demands of a popular food-and-beverage environment. Casa is more pigmented than other leathers and therefore offers greater protection from food and drink. It is suitable for the most demanding of high traffic areas. As a corrected grain leather, the natural grain has been removed and replaced with an artificial embossing giving a more uniform finish. Due to this process the leather is highly durable, the cutting yield is excellent and therefore providing a great economical leather.
The banquette seating has brass armrests for metallic accent, and offers a rich, warm brown colour against light terrazzo surfaces. Like leather, terrazzo is also a traditional Italian material, originating in the sixteenth century when Venetian marble workers resurfaced their terraces (hence, terrazzo) with left-over marble scraps. The venue also features red-figured marble against concrete; brass accents and colourful timber inlay work.