A pizzeria 2.0, serving gourmet pizzas and cocktails , Dry Milano offered Vudafieri-Saverino Partners an opportunity to reconsider the way customers are received in the food & beverage industry. The interior design by architects Tiziano Vudafieri and Claudio Saverino, founders of the studio of the same name, goes back to the concept of the relationship between food and drink that was dominant in Milan in the 1970s, when food and beverages were not seen as two separate things: restaurants could also be bars, a feature that has been lost over the years, now that restaurants have become as highly specialised as their menus.
DRY Milano is located in one of Milan’s popular new nightlife districts, at the corner of Viale Vittorio Veneto and Via Manuzio. It has thirteen windows providing exposure on both streets, and an outdoor space overlooking the city’s ramparts, the Bastioni di Porta Venezia. The place has a twin soul, for unlike the first Dry in Via Solferino, it is open for both lunch and dinner, serving food & beverages, gourmet pizzas and cocktails. These dynamics do not generate conflict, but are harmoniously resolved in the interior design by Vudafieri-Saverino Partners. The empathy between the space’s different functions responds to the key theme of the project: relations with people, with customers, waiters, cooks and the staff in charge of preparing food and drinks. The architects decided to eliminate all filters between the people who prepare food and those who consume it, doing away with the hierarchy of space that differentiates between staff areas and customer areas.
The concepts of comfort and of the relationship between food, drink and interaction among consumers are redesigned and new formulas are proposed. Gone is the traditional pizza oven, along with the customary combination of pizza and sports, replaced by contemporary art video installations presented by Paola Clerico/Case Chiuse. The premises are divided into two areas: a cocktail station at the entrance, with shared tables for customers, and a second room containing the restaurant and pizzeria. The bar counter that traditionally established the hierarchy of space has disappeared; the architects fit the bar into the centre of the space, between two cocktail stations. This is the heart of the place, where customers can watch the preparation and garnishing of the drinks that have made the Dry famous. The architects create a new geometry of space and force visitors to move in an S shape, following a dynamic route that varies on the basis of the time of day, the number of people present and the intensity of the light.
The architects underline the spirit of the place and the building’s historic memories, which emerged during the renovation work. The search to achieve harmony between the existing elements and new elements determines the interior design project. The historic walls, for example, are intentionally left partly bare, in dialogue with the warm wooden flooring. The architects resort to materials and design solutions that create an urban atmosphere. Tables and kitchen cabinets overlap, creating filters in open spaces and giving the space a more intimate feel.
Brass is the iconic material characterising the project, used in the majority of finishes on the furnishings and light fixtures, with solutions involving reuse of materials. The tables are reduced to the essential, proposing an unusual use of ceramic tiles, the architects’ homage to the aesthetics of Aldo Cibic. The ceramic surface becomes a table-top surrounded by rough brass rims. The light fixtures are made out of old bulb holders and strings of outdoor lights wrapped around simple bars. Vintage items are juxtaposed with modern elements, reinterpreting the building’s style with a contemporary layout.
Design: Vudafieri-Saverino Partners www.vudafierisaverino.it
Location: Milan, Italy
Photos: Micheal James Daniele, Nathalie Krag