Thursday 06 Jun 2013


Award banner

Angele Design and Archiformaarchitects' objective was to create an authentic Italo-Australian cafe experience where its patrons are immersed in one of Italy’s most enduring national pleasures, the cafe life which is also becoming an indispensable part of Melbourne’s La Dolce Vita.

‘La Passegiata’ is a term used by the Italians, meaning “a gentle stroll” it is an Italian tradition. The term embodies the inspiration for the new Brunetti’s unique personality with a sense of belonging in its cultural performance in promoting public interaction with a unique food and beverage and retail experience with a sense of fun.

Brunetti was relocating to a 1800 sq m tenancy in the Lygon Court retail complex on Lygon Street and the new store would be the corporate Flag ship store. The tenancy space within the Lygon Court complex is long and narrow, providing very little natural light and hence it was felt that creating a journey of experience for patrons was needed to engage, amuse and entertain patrons in the same way that one experiences their “Passegiata.”

Varied materials, including stone, fabric interlayered glass, mosaic tiles, copper, bronze and timber cladding from a palette of compatible colours are used to provide a contemporary but classic architectural expression. The main entrance is a welcoming gateway, and the entry experience is theatrical but visually impacting as patrons are immersed within the gallery of the culinary portfolio and signature cake creations by the Brunetti pastry chefs.

The circular nature of the bar entices the opportunity for a more personal interaction as well as a first hand vantage point of the craft and passion of the barista but also ensuring the traditional interaction between patron and barista is maintained and can develop. The composition of materials are consistent with the overall interior palette, highlighted with the expanse floating cantilevered curved Carrara stone bar  bench top and contrasted with polished copper, stainless steel, bronze metals and walnut timber slats.

Lighting is a vital and intrinsic ingredient to the design concept, with the layers of decorative fixtures providing a high level of customisation to achieve attention to detail and relief within the coffered ceiling expanse. Early in the design process the decision was made to incorporate a balance of active and static lighting concepts that allowed flexibility to change the atmosphere of the space whatever time of the day, varying the mood and the effect.

The interior architecture reflects an approach that exhibits objects within the space rather than merely displaying merchandise where the active theatre of the Barista, Pizzaioli, Chocolatieri and Gelatieri are performing their crafted tasks.

La Dolce Vita! The good life, full of pleasure and indulgence: Italo-Australian style.

Archiforma and Angele Design