Transparency in Pizza

Transparency in Pizza

Turning limitations into aesthetic statements is often a necessity for architects during times of economic stress.   In the case of Pizza Perez, a pizza restaurant in Syracuse, Italy, architect Francesco Moncada used materials normally associated with construction sites to achieve a utilitarian, quasi-industrial look that stayed within a strict budget.  The bar is an assembly of painted metal boxes, the floors are covered in plywood, and the bathrooms are painted with water-proof paint.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the restaurant is the storage wall that divides the space in half.  Made of transparent fiberglass panels, it stores/displays wine, the ingredients and tools of pizza-making, and customer’s coats.  On one side of the wall is the sit-down service area.  On the other side is the so-called “fast food” area, where customers can have a beer while waiting for their take-out pizza.  (This Italian idea of take-out is one that American restaurants could study to their profit.)

The wall boasts an industrial-looking chart graphic, designed by Point Supreme, Athens.  It is a colored-coded map of all the available pizza ingredients, and all their possible combinations.

Another arresting graphic is the life-size zebra that adorns a wall near the door.  Of the zebra, architect Moncada remarks, “It is colorless, simple in its appearance and it refuses to suggest an explanation. It is simply standing there beautiful, mysterious, surreal, and inspiring thoughts and discussions between the customers waiting for a table or some take-away food.”

Photos by Alberto Moncada, via