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Seamless class for Fucina London

Italian restaurant Fucina in Chiltern Street, Marylebone is the brainchild of Australian-born restaurateur Kurt Zdesar. Zdesar brought in head chef Stefano Stecca, from Rimini, formerly head chef at Toto’s in Chelsea. The restaurant opened to acclaim in late 2016.

The Fucina style is ‘casual-luxury’. It serves only organic produce, including the wine and soft drinks, and has a quirky adjoining panetteria for baking bread in-house. Many ingredients, including ice-cream, pasta and pastries, are made in-house. A private dining room boasts a wood burning fire pit for cooking meats, and the restaurant has two communal tables for seating without reservations, as well as a small bar and an espresso coffee counter.

Fucina was designed by Andy Martin Architecture, an inspirational studio responsible for Barrafina, Chan and Chotto Matte, amongst others. Fucina means forge in Italian, and the materials used reflect this, with timber, brick and blackened steel.

Diespeker was originally approached by the architects in 2014 with a request to see if it was possible to create a terrazzo with glass inset for specific sections of the restaurant floor. The creative for the floor was inspired by flooring in the Olivetti Showroom in St Mark’s Square, Venice, designed by architect Carlo Scarpa. The flooring here uses mosaic tiles in a variety of colours, and the floor gives the impression of moving water.

While plans for the new build restaurant were firmed up, Diespeker developed new expertise with resin based terrazzo, in particular with flooring created for the refurbished J&M Davidson boutique in Mayfair.

When AMA contacted Diespeker again in 2016 about the Fucina project and bespoke terrazzo, the team was able to suggest an alternative, resin based terrazzo solution, to give a more seamless finish.

Diespeker’s team carefully selected a block of Italian Carrara marble in Italy; this popular white marble boasts grey veins giving a unique finish every time. The block was sliced into 10mm thick sheets before being received at Diespeker’s Bermondsey factory. There, the sheets were cut into around 16,000 marble shapes. There were four different trapezium-style shapes.

Installation was to a cement screed; fibreglass sheeting was bonded to the screed, and the individual marble shapes then hand laid on the sheeting. The installation of the shapes was sequential, meaning great care had to be taken during laying. A mid-grey resin base was poured in situ for a seamless finish, before polishing and grinding.

All five sections of the terrazzo floor have curved profiles, which required careful attention to detail when cutting the shapes, to ensure compliance to the curves. These curved edges create a flow through the restaurant, perfectly fitting the architect’s vision of a sculpted space echoing raw and refined materials.

The terrazzo flooring adjoins engineered tongue and groove timber flooring, and 3mm anodised aluminium transition strips were used to create the flush between the two floor finishes.

Project details:

  • Lead time: six weeks for preparation and cutting
  • Installation: four installers were on site for approximately four weeks
  • Floorspace: total resin based terrazzo floorspace was 55m²

Andy Martin Architecture was awarded Commercial Interior: Surface Design Awards in February for the inspirational interior of Fucina, with judges acknowledging the distortion of surfaces, and the simple clear interior that is ‘technically hard to achieve.’

Diespeker is currently working on various bespoke terrazzo projects for clients including a 700m² resin terrazzo floor with blue glass chips for a north west London supermarket, and has recently created a bespoke cement terrazzo countertop and display panel using pieces of broken bottles of beer.

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