Hassell Studio, the design team behind Italian restaurant Di Stasio Citta, has taken out the top gong at the 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA).

The Melbourne-based studio was presented with the Premier Award in a live-streamed ceremony on May 29.

The jury unanimously agreed that it was the clear winner in a very competitive field. According to the jury: “There exists a level of austerity to this project that’s cinematic in the way it allows one to understand the design’s concept and the way the space and its patrons work together.”

(Broadsheet delved into the Citta experience – one that upends your understanding of what a restaurant can or should be – in the 2019 print cover story, “The Opera of Dining With Di Stasio”.)

“A genuinely rigorous design process has taken place and the result is a strong conceptual offering that’s original, brave and highly impactful,” the jury also noted, adding that the design wouldn’t look out of place in Milan.

The floor, which took seven weeks to complete, is black and white terrazzo; the walls were hand-plastered with grey stucco; and a sculptural, multitiered Murano-glass chandelier hangs from the ceiling.

Hassell also took home two other awards for Citta: the Hospitality Design Award (shared jointly with Richards Stanisich Interiors, the designer of Sydney’s Hotel Rose Bay) and the Best of State Prize for Commercial Design.

Melbourne architecture and design studio Carr received a commendation for its work on slick Richmond yakitori joint Eazy Peazy.