FLORENCE – Vyta Santa Margherita is a luxurious espresso bar composed by Italian architect Daniela Colli of Collidanielarchitetto in the former sala di attesa, or waiting room, of the Santa Maria Novella railway station, an archetype of 1930s rationalist architecture realised by Giovanni Michelucci.

Key aspects of the interior include antique materials polished to finesse to lavishly encompass a dough kitchen. The utilisation of thin, sleek surfaces and reflections elevate the straightforward volumes to elegance.

With the Santa Maria Novella railway station listed as an historic building, the integration of VyTa into the protected structure was a challenge filled with potential. Colli explains: 'The project focuses on the interaction between the place and its identity in order to provide a unique experience for customers, while at the same time embodying the identity of the brand.' The brand's components are acknowledged with fine materials – think copper, glass, and marble – as they interface with useful modules for a memorable impression. For instance, the pink copper sheet in the form of an uppercase 'L' forms a lighting hub-slash-overhang element for the focal bar counter. The component serves as an essential visual moment for the space which emerges by substituting voids with shaped metallic plates.

The Verde Alpi marble ledge is lit by LED displays, producing a delicate and inviting atmosphere. Pentagon pendants enlighten old-world photographs alongside vintage white glass wall lamps. In the fullness of time, observations bring to bear the Bakewell tarts, brownies, scones, fruitcakes and pies that are all homemade on the premise to accompany the weary passenger voyager seeking local legacy laced with refinement.

Architect CollidanielArchitetto
Client Vyta Santa Margherita
Typology Bakery 
Location Florence
Furniture Cemif, Miunn (La Palma) with Kvadrat textile Cava 3
Lighting Viabizzuno LED displays, Pentagon Pendant by Afroditi Krassa, white glass and copper wall lamps
Materials pink copper, Verde Alpi marble, wood, pink mirror glass with silk-screen printed stripes
Metal Fida Srl
Glass Vetreria Bazzanese
Marble Decor Marble
Installation Renova Re
Built area 6458-sq-ft / 76-sq-m
Completion date May 2016

Photos Matteo Piazza