UAE: Café Florian in DIFC is a contemporary interpretation of the famous 18th century coffee house in Venice, Italy, featuring pastel colours inspired by the original 18th and 19th century frescoes, stuccoes, mosaics and velvets, designed by architect and interior designer, Gloria de Ruggiero.
The design pays tribute to the Venetian style with handcrafted lamps by artist Massimo Nordio, a collection of original amethyst glass lamps shaped like a winged Lion, the symbol of Venice and a chandelier designed by artist Silvano Rubino created in the Anfora Glass Furnace in Murano.
De Ruggiero is the architect and designer behind all the interiors. She is returning to the venue this month to create an outside garden, incorporating the metal features in the ceiling inside and is building a custom-made antiqued wood stage for the band.
“I worked on the original design for the café when the owner asked me to develop a concept for Florian that could be used worldwide,” said de Ruggiero. “At the time, I had already completed the Florian Boutique in Florence so I had a general idea of how the interiors should look.
The space I had to fit out here was very different from the one in Florence (two small rooms 55m2 in total) and from the original in Venice (six rooms around 150 m2 plus kitchen services and offices). Having such a big space, we decided to have more comfortable seats and tables. In Venice, the seats and tables are really small.
We couldn’t replicate the original café but we did try to recreate the atmosphere of the place.”
Other changes include a new bar counter bigger than the existing one and plant vases on the terrace.