Hachem Architecture has transformed the 25-year-old family pizzeria in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs into an award-winning contemporary dining venue. The 250-square-metre cathedral-like glowing beacon maximizes space and utilises light to transcend every expectation of a suburban pizzeria.

Led by Founder and Principal Designer Fady Hachem, the Melbourne architecture studio was engaged by Piccolino following the acquisition of land adjoining the original takeaway pizzeria in Mount Waverley. Their shared vision was to create a contemporary dine-in venue, which set a brighter architectural standard for the neighbourhood as well as a superior dining environment for its clientele.

The resounding quality that Piccolino exhibits is its size. Situated in a typical suburban shopping strip, the site’s footprint scales a mere 5.5 meters in width, nestled between foundation walls of adjoining businesses. The constraints seemed endless, but Hachem embraced the site’s character, employing light, texture and structure to overcome the limitations of space.

The cathedral-like peaked roof was employed to lengthen the dwelling and introduce volume, whilst the sheer glass façade was implemented to interject natural light throughout the day. At night, the restaurant emanates a golden glow from the textured timbers that line the restaurant’s interior.

From the chamfered slab of the mezzanine to the wire cable balustrades and steel framing, every element of the design maximises functionality with its structural skeleton as much a part of its aesthete charm as its architectural foundation.

“Despite this humble context, Piccolino exhibits an architectural ambition rarely encountered in even the most celebrated enclaves of Australia’s urban fabric. The building’s glowing transparency provides a beacon for what can be achieved in Australia’s suburban hinterland,” says Fady Hachem, Principal and Founder of Hachem.


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[Images courtesy of Hachem Architecture.]


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