Luke Norris

Blocks of grey terrazzo set the tone of a pizza restaurant in Beijing

Luke Norris
Blocks of grey terrazzo set the tone of a pizza restaurant in Beijing

Subtle stepped levels and intersecting volumes of grey terrazzo break up this Beijing pizza-restaurant interior, designed by Italian-German architectural practice MDDM Studio.

Called Lievito Gourmet Pizza, the restaurant is located on the ground floor of a hotel building in the city's Maizidan Residential district by the Landmark River.

MDDM Studio designed the restaurant's long and narrow interior that stretches from the lobby of the hotel on its south side to the river on its north side. Arranged across three subtle levels, the interior incorporates both open and more intimate dining spaces.

Overlooking the river, the restaurant's north entrance is framed by a large folding window that divides an outdoor terrace and indoor lounge.

The lounge area, located next to the window, is furnished with armchairs and custom tables made from blocks of terrazo with circular brass tabletops that match the interior.

From here, guests step down into the bar and aperitivo area, which is headed by a free standing terrazzo bar sliced by a brass screen.

The long dining room is positioned at a slightly lower level again. A custom linear brass pendant light that runs the length of the dining room's ragged cement wall is mirrored below by a brass ribbon.

On the opposite side of the room, the restaurant's kitchen is visible through a window in the terrazzo wall. A brass bar flanks the kitchen window where diners can watch the chefs at work.

While the bar and kitchen are made from grey terrazzo, the lights, furniture and other elements are made of black steel, with brass used as an accent to break up the otherwise grey palette.

A curved brass wall marks the restaurant's south entrance in the hotel lobby, while a staircase provides access to the restaurant's stone terrace on the north entrance.

MDDM Studio also designed the restaurant's visual identity, including the logo and menus.

A material of the moment, terrazzo has experienced such a huge surge in popularity among interior designers in recent years. To highlight the trend, Dezeen has assembled a Pinterest board of eye-catching uses of the flecked material including a Greek island home on the Aegean coast and speckled furniture made from recycled ceramics.

Photography is by Jonathan Leijonhufvud.