For years now, acclaimed designer Tom Dixon has had a presence in Milan—especially during the annual extravaganza Salone del Mobile. With The Manzoni, he’s established a permanent position. Functioning as both a restaurant and showroom, The Manzoni space is a collaboration between Dixon’s Design Research Studio and JLK Design Studio. To enter means stepping from one distinct material experience to another. As one may expect from the designer, reimagined simple shapes populate the space—colors stay crisp and clean, oscillating from monochromatic to jungle greenery.
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. As for its design, a Testi granite slab forms an elegant bar upon entry and Dixon’s products form a unified language inside and out—at a singular marble table in their petite courtyard.
“The Manzoni is more than a restaurant,” says Dixon, “It is also an experimental space, a theatrical backdrop.” Guests can shop before or after they dine. But perhaps most importantly, they can exist in Dixon’s vision—a wonderland of his values that include an appreciation for those drawn from Italy, beside Verona marble sprouts flowers from Sardinia and so much more.
Images by Josh Rubin