After skipping last year’s Salone del Mobile furniture fair, Tom Dixon has returned to Milan with a show-stopping comeback—The Manzoni, 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. "With the city being so active and engaging right now, it is the right time to forget being temporary and build something permanent," explains Dixon. "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."
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. "There is nothing dustier than a conventional furniture and lighting showroom," adds Dixon.
The restaurant’s design is the work of Dixon’s interior architecture consultancy, Design Research Studio, and London–based JLK Design Studio. 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.
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.
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The interior is split into three main areas, each with a distinct atmosphere. The entrance is defined by monolithic granite bar and an exotic lava stone-tiled backdrop; the monochromatic dining hall has long shared cork tables; and the Jungle is a lush oasis-like environment with a small private courtyard.
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.
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.
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