The owner of the venue – a young entrepreneur running a successful chain of restaurants wanted something truly special for his latest project. Idea International were enlisted to design the new Mr. Pizza restaurant located in Sofia’s largest and busiest shopping mall – Paradise Centre. It is precisely the name of the mall that inspired the owner when drafting the design brief; he wanted an oasis, a piece of paradise in the concrete desert that is a very modern city. Little did he know Ideal International would treat his metaphor so literally and plant an oasis of greenery on the ceiling of the 10 000 sq. foot venue.
A large bar with two wood burning pizza ovens sits seemingly on a throne in the centre of the space crowned by an imposing sculpture-like ring of flowers and twills. On both sides of the bar custom banquets with large olive trees and bespoke rings of grass and greens on the ceiling fill the space. Tom Dixon’s mirror balls reflect the surreal surroundings. Further into the space, a custom chandelier piece made up of over 5000 transparent rods shimmering on the ceiling set a fairy tale tone to the design.
The greenery fills even the outdoor terrace where quirky graphic red and black chairs make a statement. Great efforts were made in our work with acoustic engineers to absorb the sound of the 400 guests which the venue can accommodate. This way we were able to avoid the usual loud murmur of large restaurants creating a very unique sense of comfort.
Working with lighting different lighting pieces that are in one instance very subtle in their luminosity and in another instance both luminous and extremely reflective presented a great challenge in getting the lighting calculations right, but the result is very special. Idea International commissioned for this project the only flower specialist in the country working on large scale faux and true greenery solutions