Wow, check out this wicked pizzeria from Matera, Italy. Above a fast-flowing river that has cut a canyon deep into the surrounding landscape, the natural caves in this region have been used for shelter for thousands of years, developing into a city where many buildings hug the cliff face and extend deep into the rock. There, human intervention merges seamlessly with the natural beauty of the caves, and this pizzeria is no exception.
There’s something lovely about the rock itself, wonderfully smooth and light in colour. Lofting high overhead, it comfortably envelops and feels very much down to earth (pun most decidedly intended).
But it’s those moments where the undressed rock meets clearly worked stone, or when it meets plaster, steel, and glass, where the magic really happens. And there are a plethora of those moments throughout. That masonry pointed arch, or the embedded glass forming the entry way (further enhanced by the rusting steel), or the pure smooth white plaster that dissolves into the rock… punctuated by slender and elegant metal armatures and lights.
As can be expected for a cavern, it’s a delightfully complex floor plan, further leading to feeling both intriguing and yet decidedly snug.
I love those stairs, heading upward to a ‘private cave’! Or the wine rack, comfortably nestled into a natural niche.
I totally dig it (yes, another intended pun!). In my next travels to Italy I need to stop by this region and see all the great architecture that uses the best of its context like this.