Since opening its doors on Salita dei Crescenzi in central Rome in 1961, Armando al Pantheon has undergone some changes: new framed sketches were added to the cork-clad wall ; air conditioning was installed; the menu even yielded to accommodated chef Claudio Gargioli’s creative flare. But this August, Rome’s famous institution underwent its most dramatic transformation yet.
The space was redesigned by famed American-born-Rome-dwelling architect Anton Cristell. Collaborating with the Gargioli family to preserve the restaurant’s familial vibe while imposing a more practical layout, Cristell has managed to seamlessly bridge modernity and history.
Light flows in from outside through recessed windows accented by the original fixtures, while the kitchen itself offers an additional light source framed by geometric glass panes.
The dropped ceiling was torn away, revealing original wooden beams that support the (now functional!) air conditioning vent.
The result is a larger, brighter, more comfortable space in which to feast on spaghetti alla gricia, coratella, torta antica Roma and all the house classics.
Goodbye, old cork board wall and antipasto buffet. You will be missed, but not for long.