Rosso occupies a first floor position overlooking the North Esplanade, the harbour and beyond.
Constructed as a warehouse, the building was gentrified in the early 20th century receiving a rendered façade with domestic fenestration, concealing the nature of the space within. The building has been put to use as a restaurant for some time, during which time the space was compressed, the introduction of a low ceiling giving the internal space domestic proportions.
CCD were approached to redesign the internal space, which would include a traditional Italian pizza oven; a significant technical challenge. In rediscovering the original warehouse this scheme removes superimposed internal fabric from the original structure, opening up the internal space and exposing and restoring the original (undulating) timber floor, which had previously been overlain to make it flat.
Designed by Chris Martel the scheme modifies the relationship between the building and the esplanade through subtle intervention. Fenestration which had been divided into heavy framed timber sets, combining fixed glazing with opening casements and lights, has been replaced with fully opening glazed modules. Operating in a manner more akin to warehouse doors, these fully disappear when open, folding flat onto the internal face of the façade, enabling the foremost portion of the restaurant space to operate as a covered external space, more akin to a veranda, and giving a direct connection between restaurant and seafront.
Where services appliances and ironmongery have been introduced within the shell they have been applied overtly and robustly in a manner that reflects the buildings industrial heritage. Where furniture is introduced it is unique, individual pieces having been commissioned specifically for the space, including a timber clad bar and bench by David De La Mare.