|Project Name||Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar||Posted in||Café, Design, Interior Design||Location||
520 East Hyman Avenue
Aspen, CO 81611United States
|Telephone||+1 970 742 2525||Completed||June 2023|
Commissioned to design the first Alpine outpost of the upscale café-restaurant chain Sant Ambroeus in Aspen, Colorado, Italian interior designer Giampiero Tagliaferri eschewed the classic chalet vibe, embracing instead a retro-chic, mid-century-inflected aesthetic inspired as much by the brand’s Milanese origins as the Alpine modernism movement. Working between Milan and Los Angeles, Tagliaferri’s creative reinterpretation of 20th century Italian design and Californian modernism made him a good fit with Sant Ambroeus, a historic brand that first opened in Milan in 1936 before moving across the pond in the 1980s – the fact that he is also a regular of Sant Ambroeus in Milan and New York made the pairing all the more fitting.
Drawing inspiration from 20th century architects like Carlo Mollino, Franco Albini and Marcel Breuer who reimagined Alpine architecture through the lens of the Modernism movement – most famously in the ski resort of Flaine, Breuer’s 1960s Brutalist masterpiece that stands out for its striking design and innovative use of concrete – Tagliaferri used concrete throughout the space, from the sinuous counter that greets patrons as they step inside, to the flagstone floor, to the banquette seating that extends along one side.
Balancing the rugged concrete elements is a palette of warmer, more luxurious materials like walnut wood, Verde Alpi marble, Mongolian lamb faux fur and corduroy fabric designed by Raf Simons for Kvadrat, the latter used to upholster the built-in concrete seating bench. Italian vintage pieces such as the Le Bambole sofa designed by Mario Bellini in the 1970s, 1950s Carlo Ratti chairs from the 1950s and wall sconces from the 1970s add to the interior’s cosiness and warmth, as well as imbue the space with a nostalgic sense of Milanese sophistication. The latter also applies to the signature pastries and cakes on offer, courtesy of Pastry Chef Guido Mogni, which speak of the brand’s origins as one of Milan’s most celebrated mid-century pasticcerias. Also serving classic and novel paninis and paninettis, plus curated wines and cocktails, Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar brings a taste of Milanese culture to Aspen’s mountain-chic community.