design: SJB Interiors
builder: Arcon Constructions
lighting: Dedece, Euroluce
furniture: Host Hospitality, Spence and Lyda, Kezu
custom joinery: Bindi Furniture
upholstery: Royale Upholstery
SJB Interiors, the design studio behind many of Sydney’s most recognisable restaurants and bars, have created a space echoing the romantic air of an outdoor Italian piazza for Spiedo, the new restaurant by chef and restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni.
With a sense of relaxed elegance, the newest addition to Westfield Sydney’s prestigious Level 6 dining precinct offers a restaurant and bar seating 85 and am more casual stuzzi bar for 70, giving shoppers, office workers and evening diners a place to grab a quick bite or an extended meal that feels completely removed from the bustle of the shops below.
Owner of the Chef’s Hat-awarded Ormeggio at The Spit, Pavoni named the new restaurant after his favourite dish, Spiedo Bresciano, a style of spit-roasting meats native to his home town in Lombardia and has fashioned the menu around dishes native to the region. From hand-made casoncelli pasta, gnocci, risotto and gelato, the menu brings a distinct, authentic Italian flair to the dining experience.
The restaurant overlooks huge windows along Castlereigh Street, allowing natural light to filter throughout the space during the day and the city skyline at night. The simple use of limed timber, terracotta and mosaic tiles provides a warm and contemporary touch while the mature fig tree which is located in the centre of the stuzzi bar evokes the relaxed atmosphere of an Italian piazza. The kitchen which is housed centrally in an open pavilion structure both separates the more formal dining areas from the stuzzi bar and provides a constant sense of theatre to the diners.
Director of SJB Interiors Kirsten Stanisich, who led the design team on the project, says the key elements to Spiedo’s overall design was to create a space with an Italian flavour where the diners have a strong sense of connection with the preparation of Alessandro’s food.
“There were a number of difficult challenges in the design of Spiedo, firstly how to create a restaurant atmosphere which translates from breakfast to dinner, how to create a venue which has it’s own identity within a larger shopping centre context and how to infuse a contemporary Italian feel without resorting to literal or clichéd references.”
Kirsten states that Alessandro’s passion for Lombardia was obvious from their first meeting and it seemed really natural that the plan should radiate from the kitchen so that the food preparation became the key focus.
“We thought about what building elements are considered identifiably Italian and how we might re-think the way they are traditionally used,” she said. “We selected an earthy hexagonal terracotta tile to line the ceilings and continued the hexagonal pattern into the mosaic bar fronts and flooring. We used a common grade, limed knotty hardwood to areas of the floor as well as the ceiling, tables and structural columns. In essence the finishes are humble, approachable and uncomplicated. They help to keep the restaurant feeling fresh during the day and warm and intimate in the evening.
“We also felt very strongly that the design should relate to the dramatic surrounding public spaces designed by Wonder Wall and the Westfield Design team so we developed an open plan layout without any tenancy walls and inserted vertical glass louvres, localised ceilings and timber columns to give the space a sense of intimacy.”