South Garage motor Co - Milan

Full-throttle porcelain

In one of the temples of Milanese motorcycling, where research, exclusivity and style take centre stage, the tyres do not bite into tarmac but an elegant porcelain tiled floor
Alfredo Zappa
Gianni Dotti
Christian Fenouil (CHR Architects)
Year of completion

Bobber, Café Racer and Scrambler Brat are just a few of the terms used by enthusiasts to refer to different motorbike categories and their associated lifestyles and personalities. Whether minimalist, retro, surreal or essential, all of these bikes have a powerful and unique identity.
“You live more in 5 minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in their lifetime,” said New Zealander Burt Munro, a member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame who clocked a speed of over 305 km/h on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967 in a radically modified Indian 950.
This motto, reflecting more a desire to be unique than a quest for absolute speed, lives on amongst those who love to own and ride a bike that sets them apart from the world of mass production, even if it is only to roar through the city streets as far as the first café like a sixties’ Brit rocker in front of the 59 Club or the Ace Cafe London.
The South Garage motor Co – Manifattura Italiana Meccaniche Veloci was open in Milan to fulfil the dreams and desires of this sophisticated category of motorcyclists.
It is located close to the post-modern intersection of Piazzale Corvetto and that long ribbon of tarmac that for decades has represented for Italians the fastest road route connecting the opposite ends of the country: the “Autostrada del Sole”.
A truly unique place, it is a kind of crossroads between the many different spirits and cultures that make up the world of custom motorbikes, united by the common threads of research, exclusivity, style, passion and design. Inside, a single open-plan space accommodates the workshop where unique custom models are hand built; the Parts & Services area devoted to maintenance and customisation; the Flagship store selling accessories, components and clothing; and last but not least, the Café Bistrot.
Along with a layout and image designed to recreate the evocative atmosphere of a factory, the interior design project developed by Christian Fenouil from CHR Architects focused on a choice of materials that would combine aesthetics with performance.
Porcelain floor tiles from Panaria Ceramica were an obvious choice.
For some areas the architects chose the Nuance collection in a 30×120 cm size and colour version, which recreates a powerful wood grain effect bringing together several different types of oak. In other areas they instead opted for the Horizon collection, in the colour Storm and size 90×90 cm, which draws inspiration from the elegant shades of marble and the texture of granite.
With their high abrasion and impact resistance and bending strength, Nuance and Horizon are ideal for commercial and public spaces where aesthetics and design must be combined with the outstanding technical performance of porcelain. Both collections also benefit from the Protect treatment, an antibacterial shield incorporated into ceramic products that is capable of eliminating up to 99.9% of all bacteria that deposit on the surfaces.

Panaria Ceramica, Nuance and Horizon
porcelain stoneware
30x120 - 90x90 cm
Nuance (Tabac), Storm (Horizon)
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): LA-HA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant
Certifications and awards
ISO 14001
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