Bindella Osteria & Bar in Tel Aviv’s White City is a family run establishment from the fourth generation of the Bindella family who have roots in Zurich and Tuscany and have developed a passion for Italian food and wine. The design brief was to create a traditional yet sophisticated experience for city dwellers that pays homage to the family group. The designers Pitsou Kedem Architects and Baranowitz-Amit Design Studio wanted to create a celebration of food and wine, where people could come together in an intimate reinvention of a traditional Italian restaurant.
Tuscany’s vineyards lent inspiration to the design, with the architectural space representing a shady vine-arbour. A grape motif is cut into the metal trellis which climbs along the length of the exterior wall, filtering the light and creating atmospheric shadows across the floors. In the evening, Bindella becomes a lively late-night eatery, offering a unique cocktails menu and a wide selection of wine and grappa imported from the Bindella family’s own vineyard in Montepulciano, Tuscany.
Oak beams radiate from floor to ceiling creating a library of shelves for the family’s vintages across the back bar. The oak spreading across the ceiling is painted in different shades of green to simulate the green foliage of real vines, spreading in a uniform arc over the space. Recessed lighting in the ceiling permeates between the beams, simulating the sun’s rays breaking through the branches of the vine.
The main space is long and narrow, with regular columns. This presented a design challenge for the designers, who wanted to preserve and even emphasise the impressive length of the space. By creating three distinct seating arrangements the team found a solution, with the dynamic line of the bar providing the perfect location for late night guests.
Long bench seating with its back to the bar creates a second line of seating with flexible tables which can be separated or placed together. The third row of seating runs along the length of the windows with tables for two alongside the patio glass walls. From the exterior this uniform seating extends further into the restaurant, like rows of green vines on a Tuscan landscape, drawing the eye onwards.
The Bindella motto is “terra vite vita” – land, vineyards, life – and so the space creates an authentic Italian experience. The menu, created by Israeli chef Roy Soffer, introduces innovative and light interpretations of classical Italian dishes using simple raw ingredients. Natural materials such as wood are used throughout the restaurant as well as concrete and steel.
The furniture including the tables are of natural oak blackened, while the bar is in iron black and basalt (a fine-grained volcanic rock). The floor is polished concrete revealing a visible grain, emulating a classic Italian terrazzo floor.
The restaurant’s façade withdraws slightly inwards, thus allowing the street to enter the restaurant in an organic fashion… inviting guests to cross the threshold and escape the hectic city environment.
Sigal Baranowitz, Baranowitz-Amit Design Studio.
Both the design and culinary concept create something adventurous and new, yet it was important to us to keep it accessible and un-intimidating. We are redefining what a city’s local Italian should be – lighter dishes, contemporary design, and an upscale environment without the pretension.
Christian Bindella, Owner
Images © AMIT GERON