Chicho Gelato reinvents an Italian icon in a contemporary Australian context, marrying traditional techniques with refined, inventive flavours. The fit out, designed by OHLO studio, is an interpretation of traditional Italian and modern Australian culture.

Chicho is Italian slang for both ‘buddy’ and ‘cheeky kid’. The client brought a playful and strong brand identity (designed by Nude Design Studio) and a clear set of values to the project – to be inclusive, fresh, authentic and transparent. The designers envisaged a thoughtfully crafted gelateria where everyone from cheeky kids to late night buddies could have a natural, interactive experience.

Located in the State Theatre precinct in Perth‘s Northbridge, the venue has a light and airy salubrious feeling during the day, and transforms into a softly lit, moody space in the evenings. Designed in an L shape around the commercial kitchen, the venue is one half espresso bar and one half gelateria. The design integrates contemporary material detailing with classic Italian espresso bar planning and references. A monochromatic colour palette across several materials is punctuated with pops of primary colours designed to accentuate the key offerings of the store. These ‘pops’ refer in colour and form both to Italian post-modern design of the 80’s and the Chicho brand. The Flos Frisbi suspension lamps and Oluce Fresnel wall lamps designed in 78 and 66 give a nod to classic Italian design.

A simple materials palette speaks about origin. Hand made terrazzo table tops made by the designer use a combination of pink Italian marble dust and local Western Australian laterite as aggregate. Crisp modern Italian terracotta tiling butts up to a Western Australian Jarrah slatted bar. A monolithic quartzite bench was used for its tactile and strong quality – imbuing traditional Italian cultural references and contrasting with the perforated steel panels to create a robust and enduring response to the client brief.


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[Images courtesy of OHLO studio.]


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