Location: Milano, Italy
Office: Park Associati
Authors: Filippo Pagliani, Michele Rossi
Category: Collective Places
Photos: Andrea Martiradonna
Priceless Milano is a temporary installation, a living unit designed to be moved around and placed on existing buildings in highly visible locations. Designed to be used as a restaurant and much more, the pavilion has been installed on top of Palazzo Beltrami in Piazza della Scala, Milan, where it remained from May to December 2015 during the Expo time. The pavilion presents a number of integrated features of varying degrees of complexity forming a sophisticated building programme that brings together architecture and interior design carefully created right down to the most minute detail. The aim was to create a distinctive but not over-imposing form that confronts rather than collides with miscellaneous urban surroundings. So PRICELESS MILANO is a temporary structure serving as a restaurant fitted out with an extremely flexible space that carefully adapts to the locations in which it is installed. The pavilion is open to the general public for bookings and can accommodate up to 24 seated guests around one single table (plus the restaurant staff) or, alternatively, 66 people standing for special events. For the occasion sliding walls can be used to separate the kitchen area from the dining area. The table lifts up to the ceiling and the space can be completely opened up. Window-doors providing access to the outside terrace have been placed along the longest sides of the dining area. The pavilion is covered with a perforated, press-formed, anodised aluminium skin in bronze/gold shades. The aluminium skin that rests on top of the restaurant units like a wing is held in position in the middle by 8 “invisible” supports. This “sail” is designed to protect the structure against solar radiation, also ensuring conditions on the terrace below are comfortable: its broken-wing shape creates an overall sense of lightness and suspension.
Priceless (150 m²) is constructed in a workshop with the distinctive feature of being easy to move around and assemble in a very short space of time (two days). The building is made out of a modular structure consisting of eight blocks assembled on site that are fully furnished and equipped with all the latest electrical appliances. This means they can be transported by road and then installed (up on the roofs) by crane using tierods. The restaurant is assembled in 2 stages. The first stage involves prearing the area and installing the metal-framed substructure on which the pavilion units rest. All 8 units are carefully assembled during the second phase and the metal roof is also set in place.
Priceless Milano is designed like a sort of travelling gastronomic theatre, at which leading chefs from all over the world are invited to show off their skills on a rotational basis during cooking shows held in front of guests. The architectural design of the pavilion, is a highly distinctive but not over-imposing form that confronts rather than collides with surrounding premises.
Heart of the restaurant is a single table, where the chefs try to rediscover an almost missed and ancient conviviality, in a constant dialogue between visitors, chefs and guests. Show cooking, tastings, meetings with celebrities, musical moments, cultural previews, “surprises” and live performances are marking the period of opening, in a rich daily schedule. For the occasion sliding walls can be used to separate the kitchen area from the dining area. The table lifts up to the ceiling and the space can be completely opened up. Window-doors providing access to the outside terrace have been placed along the longest sides of the dining area.
Priceless Milano is not only hosting a restaurant. Each week the themes and trends will change focusing around a passion for good tastes and flavours. Interviews and testimonies will provide a unique kind of storytelling about the event that will be broadcast on various media channels. Milano has been the first stage of Priceless pavilion travel which will take the restaurant on other prestigious roof through Europe starting 2017.