The new 100-cover restaurant created by British designer Tom Dixon in Milan is designed to delight. Masquerading as a permanent restaurant and a showroom, it is more than a restaurant. It is an experimental space, a theatrical backdrop for the best of Italian food and an international stage to present latest innovations, and bestsellers by Dixon’s studio. The Design Research Studio collaborated with JLK Design Studio to build a space that allows visitors to experience multiple atmospheres, with each room exploring its own narrative.
"With the city being so active and engaging right now, it is the right time to forget being temporary and build something permanent. Just like in London, we don’t think it’s enough to just have a showroom. We need a place where people slow down and experience our products in a live setting,” says Dixon, explaining why he chose a restaurant-cum-showroom concept for this showcase. “There is nothing dustier than a conventional lighting and furniture showroom; but with The Manzoni, people are able to experience our new collections in an active context."
As you enter, you are greeted by a bar made of a monolithic block of granite while lava stone tiles form an arresting backdrop. Making your way inside the long grey dining hall, a series of Fat chairs from Kvadrat line up along the monastic cork dining tables. Settling into this communal layout, it is hard not to be distracted by the spinning Spring pendants, from Dixon’s studio, hanging down from the ceiling.
The monochromatic dining hall opens into a leafy, lush Jungle room decorated by Sardinian florist, Art Flowers Gallery. Here, palms and vines flourish from spun aluminium and cluster together to create a wild, overgrown oasis.
What we love though is that while every element at The Manzoni is an exploration of traditional and modern materials and process, the same concept extends to the food as well with the Italian food design studio Arabeschi di Latte at the helm, curating the food experience combined with the theme of monochrome.