The Most Instagrammed Bathroom at Milan Design Week Was in Tom Dixon's New Restaurant
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The Most Instagrammed Bathroom at Milan Design Week Was in Tom Dixon's New Restaurant

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By Lucy Wang
Milan Design Week marked the debut of Tom Dixon's new restaurant and showroom, The Manzoni.

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.

Melt wall lights are mounted above tables by Testi.

Melt wall lights are mounted above tables by Testi.

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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."

Tom Dixon (middle) with guests at the restaurant's pre-opening event.

Tom Dixon (middle) with guests at the restaurant's pre-opening event.

Design week guests dine under Opal pendant lamps arranged like a string of translucent pearls.

Design week guests dine under Opal pendant lamps arranged like a string of translucent pearls.

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.

Designed to hug the body, Tom Dixon's new Fat seating is available as a dining chair, high stool, and lounge chair. Also pictured are Flash tables in black and new Opal lights.

Designed to hug the body, Tom Dixon's new Fat seating is available as a dining chair, high stool, and lounge chair. Also pictured are Flash tables in black and new Opal lights.

Manufactured in Europe, Fat is made from molded foam with metal legs. The line is launching in high-gloss black lacquer and made-to-order upholstery. Pictured in the lounge are Fat high chairs.

Manufactured in Europe, Fat is made from molded foam with metal legs. The line is launching in high-gloss black lacquer and made-to-order upholstery. Pictured in the lounge are Fat high chairs.

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.

In addition to serving as a restaurant and showroom, The Manzoni can also be used as an art gallery or nightclub. The wall features Tom Dixon's new semitranslucent Opal lights, which are made from tinted white opalescent polycarbonate and include an integrated dimmable custom LED.

In addition to serving as a restaurant and showroom, The Manzoni can also be used as an art gallery or nightclub. The wall features Tom Dixon's new semitranslucent Opal lights, which are made from tinted white opalescent polycarbonate and include an integrated dimmable custom LED.

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.

The restaurant pairs new Slab chairs with stone tables by Testi.

The restaurant pairs new Slab chairs with stone tables by Testi.

Shop the Look
Tom Dixon Bash Vessels
Tom Dixon Bash Vessels
'Bash' celebrates the beauty of form and material. These vessels - offered in 2 sizes - are hand formed of solid brass, then finished with a gold wash.  Hand crafting each vessel gives the surface a paper like quality and makes each a truly unique and expressive shape.
Tom Dixon Tank Decanter Black
Tom Dixon Tank Decanter Black
Gradations of black and smoky silhouettes define the latest look for Tank glassware.
Tom Dixon Melt Pendant
Tom Dixon Melt Pendant
Suspended in a molten hot state, the Tom Dixon Melt Pendant is a distorted sphere that changes in appearance when touched by light. The mirrored profile is created using a vacuum metallization process, which is deceivingly reflective.

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 entrance features a bar made from monolithic granite offcuts. The rough-cut granite is complemented by sleek lava stone tiles and Opal lights.

The entrance features a bar made from monolithic granite offcuts. The rough-cut granite is complemented by sleek lava stone tiles and Opal lights.

Cork dining tables are lined up in the long dining hall to create a communal setting for lunch and dinner.

Cork dining tables are lined up in the long dining hall to create a communal setting for lunch and dinner.

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.

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.

Set in the center of The Manzoni is a courtyard with 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.

Set in the center of The Manzoni is a courtyard with 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.

A communal basin made from monolithic granite offcuts forms the centerpiece of the Manzoni bathroom. Copper pendants hang above.

With its high shine and mix of textures, the luxurious bathroom was a big hit with design week guests.

With its high shine and mix of textures, the luxurious bathroom was a big hit with design week guests.

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. 

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.

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.

Cut surface lights in gold illuminate new Flash tables in black and a Wingback sofa and chair.

Cut surface lights in gold illuminate new Flash tables in black and a Wingback sofa and chair.