Commissioned by restauranteur, Maurice Terzini, CicciaBella melds theatrical drama with polished urban grit. It respectfully acknowledges materials found in Italian trattorias (plush velvet, natural stone, dark timber and leather) but with a stripped-back ethos. Flanking Parramatta Square, it attracts spontaneous aperitivo hours after work with its generous al fresco area.
An Italian restaurant housed in the recently opened Parramatta Square building, CicciaBella avoids the dull over-industrial treatments often associated with new builds, instead drawing upon a sophisticated suite of materials to create a truly unique eatery. The jury engaged with the imaginative, unexpected use of textures such as coir matting, unpainted Besser block, open-seamed suede, crushed cardboard cladding and chiselled bluestone. The most playful touches include galvanized steel walls, some of which conceal storage, and tie-dyed cotton banners and concrete columns etched with graffiti by street artist Benzo. The designers intended to reference the natural stone, dark timber and leather of a traditional trattoria, but rather than a literal interpretation, they’ve created an entirely new venue that’s distinctive, timeless and frequently fascinating – “a difficult thing to do when there’s no existing condition to draw on,” as one juror noted.