The Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, a plaza central to the city’s history, is a popular tourist attraction and gathering spot. A short walk away, located amidst a series of courtyards, is the Brac Bookstore + Café, a fresh, modern respite from the hubbub of the square.
Recently, the 807-square-foot space was renovated to create a literary café, a place to enjoy contemporary art, vegetarian and vegan food, books, art and author events, all in a relaxed atmosphere.
DEFERRARI+MODESTI, a Florence-based architecture and interior design firm, developed the concept. The space is divided into three sections: the wooden-paneled bookstore and café, a more informal area where events including exhibits and readings take place, and a courtyard that divides the two.
The 700-square-foot semi-outdoor space is designed to be a calming, creative walkway that also keeps the noise level down for neighbors. This is achieved with an installation of more than 5,000 colorful fabric strips in nine hues that hang overhead.
The strips, hung from a modular structure made of steel cables, create a vertical alignment in the space. As customers walk through, they feel enveloped in color and light. The textile installation can be seen from various vantage points throughout the café, playing off more subdued off-white and wood surfaces.