Bringing the art of traditional pasta making found in Rome’s winding laneways to Melbourne‘s Little Collins Street, Pentolina is a new casual dining restaurant designed by local studio Biasol. Completed in June 2018, the eatery captures Italy’s passion for food, design and good company, whilst fusing it with Melbourne’s signature hospitality aesthetic.

Biasol looked to Rome’s rich culture for inspiration, resulting in an interior informed by the building’s existing fabric, historic Roman ruins and typical Italian pasta bars. The renovation of the century-old building revealed hand-rendered concrete walls which have been refined to provide a patinated backdrop, reminiscent of the stone façades found in historic Roman laneways.

The central feature of Pentolina is a double-curved counter with leather upholstered bar stools, evoking the nostalgia of old-school pasta bars realised for inner-city dining. Spanning the length of the interior, the counter unifies four key functions of the restaurant: the bar, cookline, pasta making and dining. In true Italian fashion, the setting encourages guests to engage in a conversation with each other and the staff, while offering the opportunity to see and smell the fresh pasta being made on site. The curves of the bar are mirrored with overhead shelving, bringing about an enhanced sense of intimacy.

Materiality and colour play a pivotal role in the overall design. Bar stool seats, ceilings and associated services all feature an arresting deep burgundy – colour that’s said to inspire food cravings. Rose-coloured marble bar is reminiscent of pink granite in ancient Rome. Terrazzo floors draw on a longstanding legacy in architecture and design, originating in sixteenth-century Italy. Scalloped Tasmanian oak lines the bar front as a nod to Italian charismatic charm, complete with accents of bronze and brass.

Biasol also designed Pentolina’s brand identity, forging a stronger connection between the business and the interior. The freehand typography was inspired by handmade pasta and the Italian expression “facciamo la scarpetta” – the ritual of mopping up delicious pasta sauce with fresh bread.


See more projects by Biasol on Yellowtrace here.


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[Images courtesy of Biasol. Photography by Jack Lovel.]


One Response

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    Hi Dana, any idea on who produces those lovely stools along the bar counter?


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