A visit to the quintessential pizzeria: Calgary’s Bocce, designed by McKinley Burkart

Bocce is a quintessential pizzeria. It is not about reinventing pizza but celebrates the history and energy that making, eating, and sharing a pizza evokes. The concept of the interior follows suit. With an open concept and focus on the “making-of areas” – such as the dough-prep room and kitchen – this message is supported.

Bocce is situated on the main floor northeast corner of the new Maxwell Bates building in Calgary’s Mission neighbourhood. With large windows along its two exterior facades, the space – all 3,000 square feet of it – is bright, warm and inviting.

The design by McKinley Burkart maximizes on the space’s ceiling height to enhance the spacious feel in the dining area. Although open, the bar is located toward the front of the space with leather banquettes and barstools. The design of the bar is continued into the main dining area with eat-up counter at the kitchen and seating throughout with a kitchen view for everyone. Towards the back of the space is the dough-prep room, where guests get a peek of the prep that goes into each pizza pie. This room acts as a backdrop to the dining room, with striking “poolside blue” mullioned glass partitions.

The kitchen is the essence of the space. Says McKinley Burkart, “We immediately knew the kitchen would be open and showcase the activity in the kitchen and for all guests to see the pizza oven. The finishes evolved to become a tonal play of textures, with a hexagon stone mosaic floor, rift-cut wood planks on the walls and ceiling. Carrera marble is used to clad the pizza oven and adds an Italian charm. Leather banquettes and wood seating allows for different groups and a casual communal dining experience. A modern twist is added to the design with chrome feature lights, bright white glazed brick veneer, and patterned cement tiles (in the washrooms). The combination of neutral finishes with bright white and chrome creates a fresh and exciting vibe.”


McKinley Burkart is a full-service architectural and interior design firm with 21 members and growing. The company is a private corporation wholly owned by Walker McKinley and Mark Burkart, both of whom are actively involved in our day-today operations.

• Walker McKinley
Walker McKinley heads Strategy and Business Development for the firm. Educated at Harvard and the University of Calgary, he has served as an instructor at the University of Calgary and has been in demand as a critic and speaker at design schools across the country. McKinley has sat on the advisory committee to the School of Interior Design at Mount Royal University and as an examiner for the National Syllabus Program of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

• Mark Burkart
Mark Burkhart serves as partner in charge of Design for the McKinley Burkart team. He is a consistent voice for excellence in design and has been recognized for it with honours ranging from the Royal Architecture Institute’s Gold Medal to the American Institute for Architecture Medal. Burkart has four times been named to Calgary’s 40 Under 40 and was nominated for the national honour of the same name. Rather than approaching projects with one signature style, he looks at each project as a unique opportunity.

For more about the firm, visit http://www.mckinleyburkart.com/