The little sister to its more established Collingwood sibling, Piccolina St Kilda is a fresh invitation to mid-60’s Italy. Perched amongst friends, in the beach-culture that surrounds, the space is a sea of pendant lights and exposed green timber and designed to bring people together.
Paying homage to its heritage, and the undisputed Italian la dolce vita, the chosen materiality reflects years of gelato making, sharing and indulging. Comprising the familiar ceramic square tiles of yesteryear, with touches of crisp terrazzo, the space is framed out in timber portals. Allowing for the sharing of the process, the open-counter design is mirrored in this hole-in-the wall of goodness.
While aiming to make a clear connection to its predecessor, Hecker Guthrie sought to make a distinction in identity in this new location too. Echoing its connection to the sea and sun, there is a purposed lighter palette used throughout, and a clear connection to its past.
In fact, a curved counter is the only truly prominent design feature of the store. Easily seen from the street through the wide-open entrance, the central counter – covered in tiles and punctuated with pozzetti, the sunken metal containers traditionally used to store gelato and regulate its temperature – welcomes in passers-by from the street and ushers them immediately into a ceremony of sharing. This wide and white-tiled space is what fills the space and catches the eye, keeping gelato at the centre of the experience.
Other thoughtful details support this hub and fill out the theme: sculptural feature wall lighting from Volker Haug, green timber portal frames, touches of crisp terrazzo, a simple seating arrangement of timber stools against a mirrored wall, and a minimal menu design of individual letters placed on white railings. Although the shop is small – a hole-in-the-wall gelataria that you might find in Florence – it feels spacious because of bright, fresh details that rejoice in a theme without overpowering the senses. Photography by Shannon McGrath; Story by Kirsty Sier;