SIMÒ Pizza was started in 2018 by the Naples-born chef Simone Falco and offers Neapolitan pizza and other fare made with high-quality ingredients. This is the eatery’s second location, the other being in the Meatpacking District in New York City.
Situated on University Place, the new shop occupies the ground floor of a 19th-century building that once housed the famed Hotel Albert. The rectangular space totals 1,400 square feet (130 square metres).
Büro Koray Duman – which has offices in Manhattan and Istanbul – aimed to design a space that celebrates historic New York and Naples, while also embodying SIMÒ’s mission to be an authentic and affordable pizzeria. The design is meant to be both sophisticated and welcoming.
“The design centres around three concepts: cooking as performance, pattern as heritage, and the piazza as social space,” the firm said.
A glazed wall offers views into the bright and airy shop. At the front, the team placed an open kitchen that was inspired by the traditional outdoor kiosks found in Naples.
“Opening the view to the preparation of food offers diners a chance to engage in the performance of cooking,” the architects said.
“A diagonal grid of strung lights illuminates the kitchen, further amplifying the reference to courtyard social spaces.”
The cooking area is partly enclosed by milled-wood walls with a geometric motif based on SIMÒ’s logo. A chef’s counter is topped with Italian green marble.
Opposite the kitchen is tall shelving made of volcanic stone from Naples – a material typically used for building facades.
“The three-dimensional, angled pattern of the shelving adds a textural layer to the space,” the team said.
Additional texture is provided by the eatery’s tin ceiling and mosaic tile flooring, both of which are original to the space.
More seating is provided outdoors, where round cedar tables are surrounded by pots of Mediterranean plants and herbs.
Büro Koray Duman has completed a variety of projects in New York and beyond, including a Williamsburg apartment with staggered bookshelves and a West Village eatery with a three-dimensional lattice made of stained poplar.
The photography is by Blaine Davis.