• Client:
  • Greencliff
  • Location :
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Status:
  • Built 2017
  • Size:
  • 200 sqm
  • Partners:
  • Crosbie Projects; Nexus Projects; Light Practice
  • Images:
  • Brett Boardman


Sicily’s 'passeggiata' and extra virgin olive oil were the inspiration for the design of a new Italian restaurant.

LAVA had a mix of tradition and innovation to work with – an old 19thc Rum Store and and a modern take on Sicilian dishes. The design complements the quality produce and strong connection to Sicilian roots of the cuisine. Simple and legible.

LAVA created a passeggiata using Sicilian tiles that flows through the restaurant and connects the kitchen, bar, dining and rooftop areas. This circulation system subdivides the space, separating serving spaces and served spaces. This is also expressed in the ceiling where a layered green ribbon reflects the floor layout.

LAVA introduced two pieces of ‘furniture’, free flowing joinery elements for kitchen and bar. Soft, dripping, LED-lit lines on the joinery interpret the idea of flowing oil.

These new elements were overlaid onto the bones of the old building, which features exposed brick walls, timber rafters, steel structure, rustic timber doors, and loft-style steel windows. The original elements were cleaned up and showcased as existing.

Lighting design by Light Practice includes bendable LED strips that line the joinery and ceiling, and dimmable spotlights that create atmospheric lighting above the tables.

The cuisine of Sicilian-born award-winning chef Lino Sauro is based on traditional recipes from his family, newly interpreted, using few ingredients with each ingredient visible and detectable.

Olio Kensington Street is LAVA’s second restaurant recent fit out for Dr Stanley Quek; KYO-TO in the same precinct opened in early 2016.


The project won a Silver Award in the 2017 Sydney Design Awards.


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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope