Alexander &CO. worked closely with the owner of Glorietta to bring a sense of identity, intimacy and warmth to this beloved Italian bar and eatery in Sydney.

  • area / size 4,305 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Sydney, Australia,
  • Inspired by the client’s love of all things Italian, Glorietta is a bar and 220-seat restaurant designed to shape a corporate precinct in North Sydney into a lively eating, dining, entertainment destination. Glorietta involved the challenging transformation of a stark, voluminous, double-height glass box within a new landmark tower; void of history, the space was restricted by poor street visibility.

    As the podium tenant, Glorietta presented various key constraints. A cold and commercial character, including an open ceiling to allow for the base build utilities to remain effective and compliant. These obstacles made our team work hard to craft a sense of identity, intimacy and warmth. 

    Firstly, the space was deconstructed into separate zones. This was achieved by applying a range of floor treatments to contain each space, including polished concrete around the bar and northern dining area to timber boards in the central dining space and concrete slabs surrounding the kitchen. The large scale, volume, view and elevated floor area became advantages to creating theatre and spatial uniqueness.

    The clever use of five different seating options further establishes each zone, from the high timber tables and stools at the bar, a communal table and seating to the olive-green leather banquette, rust-red-toned tables and bentwood chairs. A pizza oven, open kitchen, dining counter and bar ribbon the entry; adding atmosphere and interest, while the bar was positioned for street visibility and to contain footprint and scale.

    An earthy and organic and warm palette was achieved via the careful selection of contemporary, yet durable, furnishings and fittings. Tonally gentle design elements soften the space from recycled timber, olive and apricot leathers and tiling, rust-red tables, brass, creams and wheat-coloured linen curtains which encircle the venue. A vaulted rattan ceiling ‘cloudscape’ softens the impact of the silver panelled ceiling.

    The innovative transformation of this space from an amorphous commercial venue into an intimate restaurant now appeals to afternoon spritz seekers, late-night fine diners as well as the casual pizza crowd. Glorietta acts as a cultural reference point, encouraging other businesses into the area, to activate the surrounding precinct.

    Design: Alexander &CO.
    Photography: Anson Smart