Designed by Melissa Collison, Neil Perry’s newest Sydney restaurant is inspired by Italy’s illustrious Amalfi Coast.
October 13th, 2017
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is a 50-kilometre stretch of coastline that’s been a popular holiday spot for visitors since antiquity. Along the rugged shoreline, colourful fishing villages descend soaring cliffs and nestle around small beaches, looking out to the glistening Aegean Sea.
This seductive destination provided Melissa Collison with the design inspiration for Neil Perry’s new Rosetta Ristorante in Sydney. Located in the Harry Seidler-designed Grosvenor Place, the restaurant has a curving wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the space with natural light and allow for view across the city and to the harbour. “As soon as we walked through the site, we imagined the Amalfi Coast, and I wanted to take patrons back to the mid-century Amalfi Coast when men were gentlemen and women were modern and anything went,” Melissa explains. “I also wanted to achieve a design worthy of a Harry Seidler building. It was an honour to have the opportunity to design within this iconic site.”
Rosetta Ristorante spreads across three levels with intimate dining on the mezzanine floor, alfresco dining on the terrace and the “best seats in the house” alongside the curved glass windows. This glazing influenced the light, bright and airy design, capturing the atmosphere and essence of Amalfi Coast and Sydney.
The materials, too, are Italian in nature with terrazzo flooring, handcrafted ceramic tiles, Bisazza glass mosaics, Florence-quarried Carrara marble and European-velvet upholstery. The colour palette evokes the sea with emerald green, sapphire blue and mother of pearl in the main dining room, and more sensuous oyster, smoky greys, silver, charcoal and cream on the mezzanine. Framed glass screens wrap around booth seating, and curving timber walls have brass, copper, zinc and smoky mirror geometric. Black and white photographs of the illustrious Italian coastline adorn the walls.
Melissa designed and commissioned the mid-century-style hand-blown glass chandeliers – in tones of blue at the entry, and white in the mezzanine. “They’re a nod to Venice, a city I love so much,” she says. Working with Electrolight, she also commissioned floor lamps of ADesignStudio’s Greenway light for the tables alongside the curved glazing. Inspired by the architectural heritage of the Sydney coastline, the brass lamp has a 3D-printed lattice that Melissa describes as “resembling fish nets caught with strings of pearls.”
Much like Amalfi Coast, the end result is glamourous, sophisticated and enticing. “It’s an elegant and demure restaurant that defies trends and is the epitome of design longevity,” Melissa says.
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