Ewert Leaf designs welcoming and playful interior for Little Sky Gelateria in Melbourne
The clients, owners of Little Sky Gelateria, asked Melbourne-based studio Ewert Leaf to create a new retail space that would describe their love of gelato and promotes enjoyment and social interaction.
“The approach to Little Sky Gelateria sought to create an insertion of ‘playfulness’ housed within a late 19th Century building framework. Encapsulating the company ethos was paramount; creating a welcoming venue and fostering a sense of community. The result is a fanciful retail space, showcasing the art of gelato production. Original elements such as the concrete floors and brickwork were restored. These raw, textured finishes sit in contrast to the smooth, curved profiles of the gelato counter, kitchen bar and surrounding joinery. Blue horizontal strapping profiles trace the interior, visually connecting the new insertion to the existing building fabric. Bold blue tiles form the base of the Gelato counter, complimented by the custom colour pendants above. A solid oak bench seat extends the length of the interior, punctuated with pink seat cushions and pink terrazzo tabletops on cherry red bases. These joinery elements compliment the striking pastel pink backdrop of the kitchen joinery wall, providing a further layer of texture and materiality. To encourage customer engagement the theatre of gelato is captured via a large open window that punctuates the kitchen joinery wall. Showcasing production was an integral part of the design brief, inspired from the clients’ studies in Northern Italy and their desire to share this tradition. The shop design is in favour of a more interactive and engaging experience, coupled with the transformation of the building into a community gathering space, offers more than a typical retail store. All elements of the design were tailored for the fit-out, resulting in a selection of local manufacturers for the fabrication of the joinery and furniture. Attention to detail was achieved through the engagement of local artisans to provide the custom pink and white ceramic bowls (used to serve the gelato in-house), and the hand-crafted timber waffle cone stands sourced from the off-cuts of the timber bench seat. Environmental impact has been considered in all packaging; paper cups are made from 100% recycled product, reusable ice-cream containers are available and crystal glassware was salvaged from a local op shop. Implementing sustainable initiatives was key in ensuring that the business is run in the most environmentally responsible way possible,” explains Toby Ewert of Ewert Leaf