Did you already get enough of the installations at the 19th century Museo Bagatti Valsecchi in the Monte Napoleone district? Or are your feet tired from the endless hunt for latest designs at the Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone?Then it is maybe time to come back to the center and grab a bite to eat at the American Diner.
‘The Diner’ by New York architect David Rockwell and his team at the LAB at Rockwell Group might just be the place that speaks to you. A ‘democratic spirit that draws people of all backgrounds’ (David Rockwell) at the pop-up restaurant and bar in the historic vault under the main train station Milano Centrale represents classic American design to the T.In celebration of the architecture and design magazine Surface’s 25th anniversary, the Rockwell team collaborated with design studio 2×4, a global design consultancy headed by Susan Sellers that promotes visually dynamic and innovative ways, to create the ultimate American iconic diner in downtown Milan combining design, food, hospitality, and celebration.Fascinated by the permanent impermanence, David Rockwell designed a fully-functional restaurant comprising four distinct American eatery types: roadside diner, East Coast luncheonette, Midwest diner, and West Coast diner.
The 14-meter-long bar and prominent neon lighting connect all four environments and invite guests to a typical American meal of burgers, fries, milkshakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and home-made pie. The Diner conjures up the image of Edward Hopper’s ‘Night Hawks’ or a cross-country road trip from long ago through the land of Stars and Stripes.
Diners enter through swinging doors, passing a pie counter to find themselves in a restaurant and event space that transcends time. The designers aimed to connect the various archetypical American diner designs with the central counter. It invites guests of all ages and experiences to have a seat and enjoy the functional, modern integration while taking comfort in the familiarity. For David Rockwell and the team, it was important to present ‘American manufacturing at its best’. Hence, furniture is by DWR Contract, tabletops by Cosentino, and kitchen faucets and sinks by us as a contributing partner.Throughout the restaurant, and across all imaginary US regions, Essex kitchen sink faucets, Undertone trough kitchen sinks with wire baskets, and Duostrainer sink drains and strainers with tailpieces ensure the innovative use of material, strong American design lines, and enduring ideas with a modern twist.
The pop-up restaurant ‘The Diner’ at Via Ferrante Aporti 15 in Ventura Centrale is open to the public for restaurant services during the day and bar and lounge services at night until 22 April 2018.