Atelier Zébulon Perron, a Canadian firm known for its distinctive interiors and design services in the commercial sector, unveils the nostalgic ambiance of Gentile Pizza Parlour in Montreal, Canada. Inspired by family heritage, the original concept for this 280 m2 restaurant pays homage to the classic pizzerias of the 70s and 80s in New York City, balancing retro and contemporary elements to create a chic and familiar space with a strong identity.
After a successful collaboration with owner Anthony Gentile in 2016 to design Café Gentile, Atelier Zebulon Perron was again commissioned to design the adjacent pizzeria. The firm embarked on a nostalgic concept in an iconic, contemporary space inspired by family history, recalling the first Café Gentile opened in 1959, as well as a private arcade, where the current purchaser spent much of his youth. The original space, a commercial corridor, had a unique character that guided the firm in the design. The existing ceiling of rhythmic metal slats in the image of 80’s architecture, a vintage artifact, was completely restored. The old signage fixtures are also retained to provide a subdued, pinkish, ambient light. References to the past are carefully revisited to create a modern place that looks to the future. To break the natural linearity of the building, the team developed a diagonal tile pattern to cover the floor, walls and bar continuously. This strong and deliberate gesture is one of the most striking aspects of the final design. The material palette includes both noble and old-fashioned materials to generate a timeless, even playful space: juxtapositions of vinyl and marble surfaces, pre-finished wood wall panels layered with backlit mirrors, amber glass dividers, vertical blinds, etc. For the furniture, authentic vintage objects are found in the personal collections of Zebulon Perron and the client as well as in local classified ads: light fixtures, chairs, stools, dining room sets and even a Pac Man arcade game. These pieces, arranged to make a powerful visual impact, help create a familiar and comforting environment, inimitable, a balance between originality and conviviality, where the primary goal is to spend a pleasant moment.