Thursday 16 May 2019

Tom Dixon's New Milan Showroom and Restaurant

Located in the heart of Milan, the new showroom and restaurant by British designer Tom Dixon. Main image and cover photograph by Elli Ioannou.
One of the highlights of Milan Design Week was the collection by British designer Tom Dixon shown in his new custom showroom and restaurant called The Manzoni in the heart of Milan, near the Teatro alla Scala. The space will open to the public later this month, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs for DAM by Elli Ioannou

Dramatic lamps and dark, oxide tiles create
a striking bar at The Manzoni
DURING Milan Design Week, The Manzoni, a new showroom and restaurant created by Tom Dixon's Design Research Studio, opened for the first time and launched new designs including the Fat, Slab, Primavera, Opal and Spring collections. The Manzoni will open as a permanent space this month in this tony part of historic Milan and will be the designer's European headquarters.

The entrance is located on Via Manzoni, near the Italian city's famed opera theatre, the Teatro alla Scala. As the British designer's first European showroom, The Manzoni will also allow Dixon to showcase his collections in Milan without having to create special, pop-up exhibitions during design week in different rented spaces.

Tom Dixon wants this new space to allow visitors to engage with his designs in what is a multi-use venue that includes a coffee bar, exhibition space, and dining hall ~ all furnished with his chairs, tables and lamps. It is an experimental space, a theatrical backdrop for the company's new and established designs combined with serving Italian coffee and food.

The Manzoni will be a permanent space in the this central part of historic Milan and will be the designer's European headquarters.

The long, rough-hewn granite bar where
windows overlook Milan's
tony Via Manzoni
Walking into the Manzoni, there is a monolithic block of granite which forms the bar area with lava stone tiles lining the wall. Gleaming like asteroids from outer space above the bar are the silvery new Opal lights. Stainless steel cabinets show Dixon's tea and coffee pot designs and glass carafes. The bar has pale green and dark oxide hued tiled walls and floors staggered in a graphic design. Beyond the bar is a seating area with the plump Fat chairs in grey and surrounding Flash coffee tables.

The design was completed by the interior design arm of Tom Dixon, Design Research Studio, collaborating with JLK Design Studio. The materials come from different regions of Italy including stone from Mount Etna in Sicily, marble from Verona, and plants from Sardinia. The opening of the Manzoni follows Tom Dixon's move last year from West London to  King's Cross, where the Coal Office houses the company's headquarters plus a showroom and restaurant. The restaurant in Milan will have space for 100 covers and diners will be able to buy everything in the space from table settings, to candle holders, glassware and furniture.

The materials come from different regions of Italy including stone from Mount Etna in Sicily, marble from Verona, and plants from Sardinia

The long dining room with communal
tables and the lamp installation above
Beyond the bar, the room opens into a long L-shaped hall with monastic, cork communal dining tables. The dining hall is in a monochromatic palette of dark and light greys.

The new Fat dining chairs are covered in Raf Simons's latest collection for Kvadrat. Looking up, there is an installation of spinning pendants suspended from the ceiling, from the Spring collection.

Adding a dramatic contrast to the subtle hues of the dining hall is the jungle of greenery in the gallery, created by Sardinian florist, Art Flowers Gallery. Palms and vines spring from aluminium planters and grow together to form the look of an overgrown oasis. It is illuminated by the Spring lamps, globes made shiny brass.

Beyond the bar, the room opens into an L-shaped hall with long rows of monastic, communal dining tables

In the courtyard, walls covered in leafy
 plants surround a marble table
At the centre of the Manzoni is a courtyard, which has a custom-made forest green marble table surroundd by foliage and designed by Testi and JKL Design Studio. This outdoor courtyard leads off the Jungle room, and is anchored by the round green Primavera marble table which is surrounded by steel seats with columnar bases.

Leafy plants grow up the walls of the courtyard and soften the hard edges of marble and steel. Tom Dixon envisions the Manzoni as a place to explore and show traditional and new materials and manufacturing processes.

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