SJB bring a touch of outdoor Italian piazza to Westfield Sydney.
September 8th, 2011
The newest addition to shopping centre Westfield Sydney’s dining precinct is Spiedo, the creation of chef Alessandra Pavoni and the team at SJB Interiors.
The design reflects a relaxed but elegant piazza vibe. Finishes are kept simple and humble in a conscious effort to avoid Italian clichés but evoke Pavoni’s home country.
One of the challenges faced by the design team, led by SJB’s Kirsten Stanisich, was creating a space that was comfortable and appealing from breakfast through to dinner.
“We were selective in our use of materials,” Stanisich explains.
“They needed to feel light enough during the day, but have a warmth for night time service. We based the central areas under a terracotta ceiling which is framed in a limed timber with enough graining to give texture at night.
“The colour of the terracotta reflects a glow that makes nearly every skin tone look its best!”
An even bigger challenge was creating an atmosphere with identity within a large shopping centre.
“Rather than block out the shopping centre and create a ’themed’ experience with no relationship to the broader building, we thought about how the restaurant might interact with the base building design to give the space some context and a local identity,” Stanisich says.
Working with the sightlines over adjacent Castlereagh Street and the curve of the tenancy, a series of layered ceilings was created in the centre of the space, creating a transition from the vast ceilings of the common areas to the intimate restaurant area, so that “the restaurant evokes some of the sense of being sited in a larger public domain.”
The open plan layout, radiating from the kitchen, incorporates vertical glass louvres and timber columns for a sense of intimacy.
“The hospitality experience continues to grow as a major element in good retail design,” says Stanisich of the trend towards more experiential design in our shopping centres – which is often translated into an attempt at more ’high end’ shopping experiences.
“I think rather than it being entirely about luxury, design should focus on creating a more unique, local or neighbourhood experience,” says Stanisich.
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