Dining amongst precious stones
Sabrina Gallini and Simone Marchiorato | sgsm studio
The Asahi Japanese restaurant in Cernusco sul Naviglio, completed in 2021, welcomes guests into its gold-tinted, Oriental-style ambience in a building with geometric, contemporary volumes. It stands out for its sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere, its expansive volumes and its warm, balanced lighting. Converted from its original use as a showroom, the Asahi restaurant building has the form of a luminous parallelepiped, its façade punctuated by vertical elements interspersed with glazing. “The Asahi restaurant needed a powerful, distinctive design for its new location in Cernusco sul Naviglio, a two-storey building situated on a major shopping street, the Statale Padana Superiore”, say architects Simone Marchiorato and Sabrina Gallini from the Milan-based practice SGSM Studio, who have completed numerous projects in the restaurant sector. The floor plan consists of an open space on the ground floor and a sequence of more intimate areas on the upper floor. The walls with their interplay of glass, mirrors and vertical light strips animate the various rooms filled with ivory-coloured tables, armchairs and sofas. The illumination consists of diffuse lighting provided by large, slender ceiling rings designed by the architects themselves, in some cases mounted with a slight overlap, alternating with golden cylinders which project a beam of spot lighting from above.
The warm ambient light is further enhanced by the large polished porcelain floor and wall tiles chosen from the Florim range: Ombre de Caravage and Onyx Blanche from the Les Bijoux de Rex collection, whose surfaces are inspired by marble and precious minerals; Étoile Crème from Étoile de Rex, reminiscent of the deep vein effect of rare marble; and Golden Onyx from the Onyx&More collection, which reinterprets onyx with porphyry inserts..
As the architects explain, the design maintains a sense of balance between the various surfaces, contrasting light and intermediate tones with darker, deeper colours: “The clients’ request was for a restaurant with a medium level of brightness and a harmonious balance of light and dark. The use of contrasting and only seemingly incompatible colours and the daring combination of dark, intermediate and light tones achieved the desired result.” The soft, inviting tactility of the surfaces and the high performance characteristics of the materials further improved the perceived environmental quality throughout the restaurant. “We opted for surfaces with a sophisticated design and finish that would make a significant contribution in terms of quality and technical performance and consequently visual impact, maintenance and durability.” Porcelain stoneware is also used for the bar counter, where the contrast between light and dark surfaces is accentuated by strip lighting concealed in the upper edge of the structure. “The high-gloss finish on both the horizontal and vertical surfaces fully met our expectations and helped us achieve our goal of creating an exclusive space with a strongly classical yet contemporary feel,” conclude Marchiorato and Gallini.
Les Bijoux de Rex
Ombre de Caravage
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): average value 0,08%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): average value 140 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): average value 50 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme