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Zio Gelato

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Following the success of The Bourbon Room, JZA+D brings its distinctive, inventive design to the high-profile interiors of a premiere Las Vegas resort-casino.

Visitore to The Venetian Hotel and Casinoin Las Vegas can now indulge their sweet tooth at an eye-catching boutique confectioner in the famed Clock Tower: Zio Gelato. Part fashion statement and part engineered object, the new location serves up Italian iced milk treats with energy and contemporary appeal.

Designed by Princeton, New Jersey-based Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D), Zio Gelato packs a lot of punch into its tidy, 550-square-foot storefront. The new shop serves not only an abundance of unique gelato flavors by Luciano Pellegrini - renowned executive chef of The Venetian's Valentino restaurant - but also sweet and savory crepes and a range of other homemade treats. Because the counter offers a wide product range, the tight space is constructed to allow guests to move comfortably through the retail kiosk.

"It was important to the management of The Venetian that the patrons feel welcomed in this relatively small space,
remarks Joshua Zinder, AIA, the founder and principal of JZA+D who is known for memorable hospitality designs in the United States and Asia. "We used some tricks of the eye and moveable walls and door systems to ensure the finished venue has an open, airy and even loftlike fell."

Zinder and his team achieved this by incorporating large storefront openings and two sets of operable glass-and-metal doors that open the space up and invite guests inside. An orange "ribbon" along the ceiling and back-illuminated elements add dimension and visual pop to the shallow, wide gelato store.

The space was carved out of previously unused real estate behind the Venetian's famed Clock Tower feature. The store is eye-catching at any hour of the day with siding doors that offer views to the signage when open or closed. Combined with a pitched ceiling, gabled up at one end,Zio Gelato defies the the confines of typical retail space usage.

A ribbon runs through it

Even more so, Zio Gelato draws long lines of customers with its arresting and vibrant interior design and signage. "It's simple enough to let the product speak for itself, yet it's also bold enough to draw the attention of passersby," says Zinder.

The bright orange ribbon is an element of Zio Gelato's company branding. The colorful expanse runs across the pitched ceiling and down to the floor on either side of the service counter, tying together the unconventional volume. It also helps establish contrast against The Venetian's neoclassical interiors, adding lively ambience that entices patrons to step up to the counter and view the multihued gelato offerings.

Wrapping alng the orange ribbon is a line of text, playfully repeating the word gelato in the brand font created by Chris Ritchie at COA Design in collaboration with JZA+D, to accent the major signage and provide additional character.

JZA+D adds Zio Gelato to a growing list of bold interior solutions for hospitality projects. The firm's design for The Bourbon Room, also in the Venetian, created a nightclub with an 80's-rock theme - replete with enormous screens for projections of music videos and scaffolding evocative of lighting rigs for stadium shows - as a companion space for the resort's stage production of Broadway's "Rock of Ages."

JZA+D also recently completed Sky on 57, a restaurant for the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore, for which they were able to tuck 3,000 square feet of back-of-house space behind a wall wrapped with wooden fins, a solution which allowed for stunning perimeter views. Recently, the firm has begun work on a new restaurant for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation in Macau.

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