Industry Insights: Melbourne practice celebrates terrazzo in Californian cafe

South Lake Tahoe is best described as a wonderland. Located in California’s El Dorado County in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the small city boasts a natural landscape fit for adventure. It’s not surprising holidaymakers and tourists from around the globe flock to the photogenic area year-round. And for the owners of SUP Tahoe Stand Up Paddle, the recent resurgence in visitors provided an opportunity to extend their business to include bike rental and a cafe.

The fitout combines stone counter tops, concrete flooring and American oak to create a calm interior.


Codi Ann, Spence Backman

They wanted an international studio to design their Pine Nut Cycle Cafe and create an interior with a truly global flavour. In this regard, there was no better practice than Melbourne’s Biasol Studio, who imbue all they do with an effortless sophistication and sense of freshness. The designers drew on their international design sensibilities and also looked to the surroundings. “We took a holistic approach to the design, integrating the experience of being in a natural setting,” says Biasol director Jean-Pierre Biasol. “And from this we developed a colour palette and branding inspired by the union of nature and craft.”

The cafe, retail zone and bike rental service area flow seamlessly, held together by a minimalist scheme. Custom detailing characterises the counters and the open merchandising unit, all of which were crafted from American oak by local tradespeople. The softest greys and greens evoke the pine forest landscape, complementing the honey-coloured joinery and instilling a sense of calm, while throughout, counter tiles and polished concrete flooring add texture.

Fibonacci stone was used for Pine Nut Cycle Cafe’s water station.


Codi Ann, Spence Backman

But the palette’s most striking element is the use of stone from Australian terrazzo brand Fibonacci, as counter tops, a splashback, the menu board and display unit’s back panel. The Moon Garden stone is patterned with pale grey, chocolate, nude and white, and punctuates the space to stunning yet understated effect. For Biasol, no other stone could have done the job. “We love how Fibonacci’s Moon Garden subtly complements the design’s overall materiality,” he explains. “Its natural colour tones are truly unique and there’s simply no other stone like it anywhere else in the world. Our clients actually researched many other terrazzo suppliers and came to believe 100 percent in our selection.”

Another advantage of using the Moon Garden product is the collaborative way in which Fibonacci works. One of the company’s biggest priorities is providing certainty of supply to designers and in this case it meant supporting Biasol through the challenges of delivering a project internationally, and working closely with the local tradespeople to provide invaluable guidance. Fibonacci founder Michael Karakolis was undestandably delighted with the results. “We’re grateful to Jean-Pierre and the client,” he says. “This project personified the importance of collaboration to achieve a very unique and exclusive outcome.”

Using such a high-quality, reliable product that will stand the test of time was also of utmost importance here. It’s added timeless appeal to a well-considered fit-out that ultimately makes the overall design more nuanced and the space itself even more welcoming.

Presented by Fibonacci. You can view their full range of terrazzo at

Source: Architecture - architectureau

Architects appointed in WA school building blitz

Wangechi Mutu’s Sculptures in Bronze Populate Storm King Art Center with Mythical Beings