Breakfast at Maison du Parc
Adopting the typically American formula of always open‘, the location is reminiscent of a stylish New York restaurant facing onto the greenery of Central Park.
But in this case the venue is Milan, a short walk from the Arco della Pace, and the lush foliage reflected in the large windows of the new Maison du Parc restaurant is that of the trees in Parco Sempione.
„I was delighted to take on this job, which involved inventing a new restaurant with a versatile range of offerings. The idea was to create an unconventional place, a cross between a restaurant and a tearoom, but also a pastry shop that would be transformed in the evenings into a sophisticated lounge bar with live music… all in all it was a very innovative concept,“ explained architect and entrepreneur Carlo Santambrogio. Born in Milan in 1965, he used the glass-working expertise of his company (Santambrogio Milano, founded in 2004) to create a restaurant that would combine original cuisine with designer furnishings and the use of strictly eco-friendly materials.
„The versatility of glass adapted perfectly to the eclectic nature of the new restaurant,“ the architect explained. „After all, glass is my passion. I have been working with the material for years, experimenting with new projects and exploring new and often unusual fields of application. In this project for example, I designed everything with glass, making full use of the material’s ability to function as an all-round structural element. I used glass to create tables, chairs and display cabinets. The result is an extremely light, airy space, ideal for a location intended to host large numbers of people. Furthermore, glass has the unique quality of changing its appearance during the day as a result of constant variations in light, a metamorphosis that is ideal for a restaurant with many different faces,“ continued Santambrogio.
But the project also uses other materials, he explained. „I was fascinated by the beauty of the park observed through the restaurant windows. For this reason I decided to combine the purity of glass with the material appeal of wood, which I left in its most elemental form – tree trunks used as supports for the table tops.“ The floor covering, consisting of large porcelain sheets (Design Industry collection from Refin in a 75×75 cm size), helps to create a striking contrast of materials. The dark tone is reminiscent of the colour of the earth, lending a sense of depth to the entire space. The oxide metal version (Oxyde Dark) lends further brilliance to the floor surface, accentuating the light reflections and creating ever new effects.
The quality of the interior design is matched by the comfort of the furnishings and the environmental sustainability of the materials (wood, glass and porcelain tile) used by Studio Santambrogio. „Glass is a 100 percent recyclable material and its extensive use in interiors can make for a highly successful project,“ noted the architect.
The lighting system consists of custom designed light sculptures that enhance the contemporary, eclectic taste of the restaurant.