Born in Italy in the region of Basilicata, Filippo Ponzio brought to Brazil over 100 years ago a bread recipe that would become one of the most famous in São Paulo (Brazil): the Italian bread Basilicata. Since then, the traditional bakery is in the heart of Bixiga, a traditional Italian neighborhood in the city. And so it will continue, but in a new project. Now, the customers will have access to a new environment: Basilicata - Pão, Empório and Restaurante
Designed by SuperLimão Studio
Photography by Maíra Acayaba
With a project signed by SuperLimão Studio, the atmosphere is immersed in the history of Italian immigration: the old scale, the "hanging" (where literally the beads hung), handwritten posters and photographs that tell the story of the family that left the south from Italy a long time ago.
The property has been restored to receive the new project. With two floors, the emporium and the bakery are located at the street level and, upstairs, the new restaurant. The intent of the project was to seek a restauration of the memories keeping the tradition from architecture, respecting original characteristics of the building. And, at the same time, seeking for more spaces for new services areas.
Passing through the main entrance, the first space is an emporium elaborated with details that gradually tell the family story, without losing its essence. Bread trays as a display of products are fixed in metal structures that refer to the original iron supports made by the family smiths. Next to the boxes, there is a map of Italy drawn with yarns of wool. This map rescues one first moment of their entire history. They tell about a tradition while the ship left the port, that the immigrants carried a point of a ball of wool and the relatives in land held the other point in the hope that one day they could join these two ends again.
Still in the entrance, on the left, a provolone cutting table marks the passage to another space full of olive oils and cheeses options. In this area, is located the refrigerated part of the emporium which, in addition to the refrigerators in stainless steel, are housed in a cookie cutter of the family and tables specially designed for the project.
The liner is made of the blades that are used to provide bread. Hanging under the flagstone, they form a kind of acoustic baffles diffusing the illumination. A large counter and bistro tables will be available for quick snacks downstairs. Right on the corner of these balconies, and right in front of the entrance of Basilicata, the counter seats the loaves purposely, for being the flagship of the house.
Walking down this floor, a grocery store with products are available to customers who want to take home market items. Upon leaving for the outside area, three coconut trees were kept and tables were arranged to greet guests.
The details of all these stories are in the setting of the spaces. Among them, wood-fired oven doors forged by family blacksmiths, tools such as the anvil, scales, grates from the ashes of furnaces turned into balusters in the open hallway on the second floor, to some personal objects such as a notebook, glasses, banknotes and coins.
Upstairs is the restaurant. The restaurant kitchen is the place where the chef Rafael Lorenti proves that the Italian “cucina” is in the DNA of his family and prepares a menu typically of the south of Italy, with about 30 options of dishes.
To accesses the second floor, the existing staircase has been renovated and suitable for new standards. An elevator was also installed to ensure the accessibility of all customers.
Without walls, the upper hall accommodates chairs, tables and sofa designed by SuperLimão. The sofa seat also refers to a family moment and after Second World War, in which the government rationed products like flour and sugar. The family reported that once, when they received government taxpayers at home, the family arranged a bed in the corner of the room with sacks of flour covered by a quilt. On top of the sofa, industrial luminaires light up each table directly.
Original wooden balcony doors lead to a balcony that is essential to the space's ventilation. In the roof, with tiles of asbestos cement type, were created a series of openings.
On the walls, the chosen inks refer to the colors of Italy, but in soft tones. In addition to green, red and white, other colors were added to the palette, such as yellow and blue.