Di Stasio Città Restaurant

Restaurant, art gallery, institution, homage to brutalist design. Città is a dining experience that indulges all the senses. 

In Melbourne, Rinaldo Di Stasio’s name is synonymous with fine dining – Italian style. For his latest venture, we wanted to reflect that DNA as well as his reputation as one of the city’s leading arts patrons. Yet we still wanted to create something with a personality all its own.

Città has no sign or building number. Instead, tinted glass doors flood the entrance with a red glow. A hidden button that opens the doors and a narrowing vestibule that leads to the dining room both add to the sense of theatre.

The venue features works by seminal Australian artists, including striking projections of Shaun Gladwell’s The Lacrima Chair and Reko Rennie’s OA_RR on Città’s hand-plastered, stucco walls, which give the space such a textured, tactile feel. Rennie’s billboard-sized public artwork, Visible Invisible, is also on display to the footpath. 

During the design process, we modelled the slab-sided entrance in plywood, at full size, so we could actually experience the impact of our concept. This painstaking process and our close partnership with Di Stasio mean every detail here serves his singular vision for Città – a restaurant that looks and feels like no other.

Client

Rinaldo Di Stasio

Location

Melbourne, Australia

Status

Completed

Year

2019

Scale

90 seats

Design team

Di Ritter, Bronwyn Uphill

Photographer

Peter Bennetts

The Lacrima Chair by Shaun Gladwell

OA_RR by Reko Rennie

It’s not often a place upends your understanding of what a restaurant can or should be.”

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