Baita piè Tofana Cortina
Alessandro Paderni / Eye Studio – photography

Baita piè Tofana - Cortina d'ampezzo rebranding & restyling project by Visual Display

VISUAL DISPLAY - Interior / Identity / Stories as Interior Architects

At the foot of the Tofane of Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the heart of the ski area that will host the 2021 World Championships and the Olympic Games in 2026, stands a small wooden house with a long history behind it.  
First established as a hut to host the timekeepers during the '56 Winter Olympics, it later became a traditional hut where you can breathe the mundane atmosphere of the 1980s, well narrated in the Vanzina brothers' movie Vacanze di Natale. Right here, in 1983, one of the cult scenes were filmed with Christian De Sica and Karina Huff and lately some sequel scenes, Vacanze di Natale 2000 and Vacanze di Natale a Cortina 2011. 
In the 1960s it became one of the landmarks of Ampezzo's haute cuisine. 
 
2019 – It is with today's new management by Michel Oberhammer asked Visual Display to renovate and re-launch of Baita Pié Tofana, from the brand identity to the interior design. Michel ambition was to give a decisive turn to the image of this restaurant immersed in the green of the Ampezzo mountains, curating all the details, from the interiors to the conception of the menus and the fine wine list. 
Thus, began a beautiful journey for Visual Display in the vernacular culture of the place, in search of inspirations and authentic emotions which then became materials, colors, shapes, textures, light, and signs. With the aim of enhancing, on one side, the historic aspects and the recognizable characteristics of the hut and on the other the concepts of sophistication and authenticity, values ​​underlying the new management. 
 
The first milestone of the project was the decision to confirm the old sign-plate affixed to the front of the cabin from the beginning (see image) and make it the central point of the re-branding. The sign becomes the trademark of the lodge to which the payoff "authentic food and fine bottles" has been added to describe the essence of the new offer: a refined and all-Italian menu and a wine list created by Michel in person with more than 500 international labels. 
 
THE RENOVATION. 
The project involved a total renovation of the dining rooms that led to the consolidation of the original structure, thanks to the savvy hands of local artisans - Falegnameria Menardi from Cortina D’Ampezzo has been one of the main actors in the realisation. 
The interior walls and ceiling have been completely replaced by a new paneling in sandblasted and stained fin boards. The elegant combinations of fabrics chosen for the benches in dove-gray and petrol-green tones, the light linen curtains and the amber-colored copper lamps create a welcoming and elegant atmosphere, adding a touch of glamor to this traditional location. 
 
 The traditional fireplace in the “Larin” room has been replaced by a new technologically more advanced fireplace  - made by Gover Caminetti - that allows customers to eat around the firepit. The nearby room, with custom-made raw wood tables, is characterized by a large back-lit wooden and copper wine rack to underline the Baita's oenological vocation. 


Even the exterior has undergone a total make up. The facades have been cleaned from the patina of dark paint to leave the larch naturally and allow it to age. 
At the same time, the burnished brass lamps, a new furnishing project and the selection of outdoor fabrics transform the terrace into a real open-air room with the addition of two "privee" areas available to guests. 
 
The result is a classy, elegant and welcoming venue, which despite being entirely different from the former one maintains the magical and warm atmosphere that has always distinguished this location. A place to get together, feel good and enjoy a 360-degree experience immersed in the splendid scenery of the Ampezzo Dolomites (UNESCO World Heritage). 
 
A piece of history of Cortina d’Ampezzo revisited with a contemporary spirit, for lovers of the mountains, cuisine, good wine and beauty in all its forms.  


Loose furniture: 
chairs: Sipa Sedie, Unopiù 
lighting: Flos, Toscot, Astro Lighting  
lanterns: Ethimo 
 
Fabrics: 
Rubelli, Dedar, Mark Alexander 

Elegance enhancing the landscape. T-Way for the restaurant Baita Piè Tofana

Pratic f.lli Orioli as Manufacturers

Inestimable resource for any restaurant, the panorama becomes the protagonist of the open-air projects:  an element to emphasize through comfortable outdoor spaces and discrete covers that leave space for only the pleasure of the view on the landscape.

 

Lightness, simplicity and functionality are sure enough the essential features to create unique and immersive spaces, such as in the case of the restaurant Baita Piè Tofana, nestled in the Dolomites of Cortina d’Ampezzo, UNESCO’s patrimony, hence the name.

photo_credit Flavio Graffi  – Fotograffia
Flavio Graffi – Fotograffia

The wooden restaurant combines elegant and respect for the territory, from a modern perspective that meets the most refined tastes on the subject of food-wine and design.  Born as a shelter for the time-keepers during the ‘56 Winter Olympics, the location and the excellence of the cuisine have soon made the lodge a reference point for the Ampezzo elite, such that the Vanzina brothers chose the small town as the set for many famous films of the Eighties and the Two-thousands. In 2019, the new management has restyled the place in a way which projects the indoors in a modern dimension, still preserving the historical features by choosing warm and coherent furniture. A refurbishment involving also the terrace on the Tofane, the outdoor space that allows the guests to have lunch surrounded by the mountains and to be always sheltered, against high altitude weather instability, by the minimal lines of the two T-Way, the folding arms awnings by Pratic.

 

Used especially during summer season, the outdoor spaces of the restaurant are exposed to the frequent and light summer rains, which quickly alternate with clear sky. Thanks to its shading and blockout fabric, T-Way protects against sun and bad weather, sheltering uniformly a surface of 29 square meters, where there are about twenty covers.

photo_credit Flavio Graffi  – Fotograffia
Flavio Graffi – Fotograffia

The element which makes the new covering even more functional is the tension system of the arms, that allows to modulate in a customized way the opening degree of the awning, by remote control or using the app available for smartphone and tablet. When the awning is completely closed instead, the result is very polished.

 

That’s exactly this light design which allows T-Way to naturally integrate in the outdoor area of the lodge. The choice of dove-grey colour perfectly matches with the light colours of the larch, while the wall-mounted installation facing the side roof creates harmonic lines and completes the architecture of the terrace. Moreover, the iron-grey aluminium profiles add a modern touch to the structure, hiding at the same time the electric components inside.

photo_credit Flavio Graffi  – Fotograffia
Flavio Graffi – Fotograffia

A cutting-edge solution, offering simple and timeless shapes, able to accommodate the guests comfortably and to enhance the charm of this extraordinary open-air terrace.

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