Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio has created a new 100-cover restaurant, opened this week to coincide with Milan Design Week. The Manzoni is more than a restaurant. It is also an experimental space, a theatrical backdrop for the best of Italian food and an international stage to present Dixon's latest innovations, and the best sellers.
"After years of doing 5-day exhibitions in Milan, we finally decided that we had enough of putting such huge energy into pop-up interventions," Dixon commented. "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."
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.
The entrance of The Manzoni features a monolithic block of granite, which serves as the foundation of the bar. Exotic lava stone tiles decorate the wall, which complements the materiality of the Testi stone bar. OPAL lighting range illuminates the space with an ethereal glow.
As you move further into the space, the room opens into a long hall featuring monastic cork dining tables, where guests are invited to dine in a communal setting for lunch and dinner. The dining hall is monochromatic with subtle touches of color coming from the cork and the new FAT dining chairs upholstered in Raf Simons's latest collection for Kvadrat. A kinetic installation of spinning SPRING pendants suspends from the ceiling.
Disrupting the monochromatic theme is a dense jungle of greenery in the gallery, supplied by the luxury Sardinian florist, Art Flowers Gallery. Palms and vines flourish from spun aluminum planters and cluster together to create a wild overgrown oasis. In the center of The Manzoni is a courtyard, which features a custom-made forest green marble table designed by Testi and JKL Design Studio. The marble is brought to life by the lavish foliage backdrop.
Photography: Peer Lindgreen