Part of the transformation of a former giant industrial plant in Italy includes a chic restaurant overseen by the multi-Michelin-starred chef Enrico Bartolini.
On the grounds of what was once a thriving factory district that eventually petered out in the 1980s, the city of Milan purchased the entire area with the caveat that the new use be related to cultural services. In 1999, an international architectural competition was launched to aid in the conversion of part of the complex for cultural activities and a museum; the winner was Sir David Chipperfield, an English architect whose past work includes many major museums and libraries all over the world.
Further edicts for development of the property required preserving the architectural character of the buildings and permitted the construction of a new free-form building inside the old plant for the new Museum of Cultures (MUDEC), which was achieved without any sharp edges and features luminous interior façades.
The MUDEC now hosts a notable restaurant overseen by the multi-Michelin-starred chef Enrico Bartolini — a spot particularly crowded during Milan Design Week. According to chef Bartolini, having his namesake restaurant at MUDEC was a natural collaboration, citing a similarity in “contemporary classic philosophy” while keeping “an open mind to the new frontiers of gourmet cuisine.”
In describing his desire for the restaurant’s design, the chef requested “a simple, yet refined, style that has always been our signature.”
Chef Bartolini’s gastronomic philosophy of combining tradition and innovation for his “Contemporary Classic” cuisine is reflected in the furniture and lighting choices. The project was developed on the predominance of white in varying hues, intercut by the simplicity and linear design.
To achieve that effect, the bespoke white wood paneling is by Riva Mobili D’Arte in Meda, and the lighting design is by Catellani&Smith of Italy.
Illuminating the walls of the restaurant for a relaxed ambiance is a series of Light Stick lamps, which was selected for its ability to create a harmonious balance between light and shadow that also highlights the design of the decorative wood paneling.
The final result is an intimate and cozy atmosphere in an exclusive, culturally rich atmosphere where guests enjoy being together and experiencing cuisine that opens to new frontiers in taste.