Artsenal, summer in town 20 JULY 2012

Artsenal, summer in town

A coffee before “Aida”, or a spritz after “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”.

From an ancient abandoned building in the hearth of the city, to an open theatre, to listen music in the summer nights. And a bar, inside the decadent walls of an ex warehouse, once used by the artillery of Marina Militare, and then abandoned for years.

A civilian conversion, for one of the many military buildings, that occupy the waterfront of La Spezia.

And the best is turning this space into a place suitable for opera and live music, with a cafè bar, as in a real teathre.

The design is made by Costa Group, who succeeds in combining a plain but suggestive intervention in the decadent ambiance, the crumbled walls and the precarious plaster, with the insertion of a simple and modern bar station. Creating an effect of unexpected design, thanks to the contrast between the history told by cracks and neglect and the surprising effect, that places a bar inside this decadent curtain, bringing music, conviviality and the citylife inside the walls.

Thanks to few elements: a long counter, a line of light bulbs, hand-decorated tables and benches. And the shrewdness of using semi-darkness and empty space as furniture elements, and the antique relics, old boats, ropes and service trolleys, to tell the origins of a seaside place.

Beyond the glass door, the open theatre: an arena of military archaeology, and an outstanding stage, crossed by the sea breeze, and illuminated by the summer nights. Creating a fascinating curtain to listen, watch and taste. Far away from the chaos, in a place that returns to the city, in its more spectacular way.