Tom Dixon returned to Milan after a year’s absence and focussed his energy on how the brand can embed itself into the heart of Italy’s commercial and cultural capital.
The Manzoni, is a restaurant that doubles as a permanent showroom in the heart of the city.
Located at 5 Via Manzoni, the restaurant marks Tom Dixon’s first permanent outpost in continental Europe.
After years of creating temporary five-day exhibitions for Milan Design Week, the designer sought a more lasting investment in Italy’s commercial and cultural capital.
The 100-cover restaurant follows in the footsteps of the Coal Office, Tom Dixon’s new London headquarters that comprises an office, showroom, and restaurant.
These multifunctional spaces take an unconventional and multisensory approach to introducing products.
The Manzoni pre-opened from April 9 to April 14 during Milan Design Week. The restaurant and showroom will open to the public in late April.
“ We wanted to look at different ways of being present in Milan. 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.” ……….. Tom Dixon
“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.” ……… Tom Dixon
“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.” ……….. Tom Dixon
A rich and varied material palette creates theatrical backdrops that not only complement Tom Dixon’s latest collections and best sellers, but also the restaurant’s food as well.
Modena chef Marta Pulini kicked off the preview with a creative Southern Italian-inspired menu featuring seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Dixon says that, in some ways, the boredom of the temporary repetition motivated this development.
There was also a revelation that food and design work well as business partners.
Regarding the former, the restaurant launches with executive chef Roy Smith Paredes Ynfantes and guest chef Marta Pulini.
The menu consists of Italian fare.
An emphasis on local materials is woven throughout all parts of The Manzoni—from the use of stone quarried from Mount Etna in Sicily to the addition of flowers grown in Sardinia.
To enter means stepping from one distinct material experience to another.
As one may expect from Tom Dixon, he has re-imagined simple shapes populate the space—colors stay crisp and clean, oscillating from monochromatic to jungle greenery.
The space is split into five main areas, each with a distinct atmosphere.
1 The Entrance is defined by monolithic granite bar and an exotic lava stone-tiled backdrop
The entrance features a Testi granite bar made from monolithic granite offcuts.
The rough-cut granite is complemented by sleek lava stone tiles and Opal lights.
2 Dining Hall
The monochromatic Dining Hall has long shared cork tables
Cork dining tables are lined up in the long dining hall to create a communal setting for lunch and dinner.
The dining hall’s monochromatic tones are slightly offset by the brown cork tables flanked by new Fat dining chairs upholstered in Raf Simons’ latest collection for Kvadrat.
3 The Jungle
The Jungle is a lush oasis-like environment with a small private courtyard.
The long dining hall empties out into the Jungle, a refreshing break from the monochromatic color scheme that features lush palms and vines in spun aluminum planters and vibrant Spring pendant lights made from reflective brass strips.
Cut surface lights in gold illuminate new Flash tables in black and a Wingback sofa and chair.
The Courtyard uses a custom-made, forest-green marble table designed by Testi and JKL Design Studio flanked by lush greenery on three sides.
The aluminum chairs are by Shapes.
The high-shine Bathroom—which mixes rough-cut stone, reflective brass and copper, and matte plaster walls—is also an experience in itself.
Immense floor-to-ceiling mirrors create an endless series of reflections.
Tom Dixon’s new collections layered on top of The Manzoni’s varied settings include the Fat, Slab, Opal and Spring lines.
A communal basin made from monolithic granite offcuts forms the centerpiece of the Manzoni bathroom.
Copper pendants hang above.
Exit through the Gift Shop
In addition to serving as a restaurant and showroom,
The Manzoni can also be used as an art gallery or as a nightclub.