A modern metropolis is an amalgamation of many different elements, constantly growing upwards and outwards. For Milan’s DaV restaurant, Andrea Maffei Architects takes inspiration from the surrounding city, repeating a single triangular form to create a densely packed feature wall that resembles a top-down view of the urban landscape.
This sculptural focal point gives the informal dining spot (a more relaxed sister establishment of Italy’s acclaimed Da Vittorio restaurant an hour away in Brusaporto) a lively, urbane ambiance that speaks directly to its location.
Operating from the base of one of Italy’s tallest skyscrapers, the 50-floor Allianz Tower (itself designed by Andrea Maffei Architects alongside the late Arata Isozaki), DaV Milano is part of CityLife, a recently developed mixed-use district that clusters shopping, offices and apartments around a giant park. (The restaurant’s 64 indoor seats are joined by a 94-seat outdoor terrace that directly overlooks the district’s main square.)
Beginning at the concierge desk, DaV’s dynamic arrangement of wooden fractals establishes a rich, caramel-hued border that continues past several intimate bar tables and into the main seating area.
Up above, long wooden strips of matching cherry add to the project’s sense of flow, leading guests forward into the main dining room.
Running along the entire back wall of this central space, DaV’s feature wall then transitions into a series of subtle doorways leading to individual washroom stalls clad in gray porcelain.
A slatted partition wall shelters this back corridor from the buzzy seating area up front while further contributing to the restaurant’s warm, woodsy ambiance.
Meanwhile, the dining room’s coffered ceiling serves as its own geometric focal point, featuring branch-like arrangements of slats that help to absorb sound. Integrated into this arrangement, strategically positioned spotlights work to illuminate both the tables below and the 3D walls that serve as their backdrop.
The bar counter and chef’s table build upon the ceiling’s gray tones with fluted slabs of Laminam Pietra Piasenta Grigio porcelain (which also clads the project’s floors, front reception desk and select walls) that hark back to the slatted entryway ceilings. Meanwhile, Nero Marquinia porcelain countertops from Florim serve as a dark hit of contrast.
The end result is a space that reflects not just Milan’s urban density, but also its appetite for bold design.
Pyramidal wood paneling serves as the backdrop to a metropolitan dining spot in the Lomardy capital’s CityLife neighbourhood.