Primo. Built, 2016

Awarded a commendation in the 2017 Architeam Awards, Commercial

This all-day Italian restaurant is located on the ground floor of a rather unattractive 1990s development. To counter this, the exterior has been clad with fresh white tiles, which both separates the restaurant from its context and addresses its identity. A yellow neon in the street front window conveys a finger spinning pizza, alluding to the function of the space. Turning the corner on Candy Street, users are greeted by the word ‘pizza’, which is spelled out in black tiles, each letter the size of a human. A green neon in a mesh cage above the door underscores the entry, while a cove tiled pink seat provides a spot for respite, framing the bustle of the restaurant within.

An existing terrazzo floor throughout was uncovered during the demolition, and subsequently became a new starting point for the design. Upon entry, a curved black steel balustrade leads the user to a joinery unit of Carrera marble, set against a black steel mesh shelf that screens the kitchen. From this point of welcome, a curved concrete bar dominates, topped with more marble. White steel mesh racks above mirror the contour of the bar, guiding diners into the main space.

Metallic elements reflect and draw daylight deep into the restaurant, while green leather banquettes paired with warm timber are set against charcoal walls to deliver an intimate feel in the evenings. The texture of the walls, characterised by spray insulation, dually absorb acoustic reverberation and connote the Italian grotto.

Photography : Ben Clement