In 2017, Emilgroup and Naos Design crossed paths in Milan. The result was a fruitful collaboration that has led to two major projects in the Milanese restaurant sector: Nishiky and Niwa.
We decided to have a chat with the two brothers from the Naos Design firm in Milan – architect Andrea Alessi and designer Dario Alessi – to gain a deeper insight into the symbiotic relationship between ceramic surfaces and architecture and to try to envisage the future of commercial premises after the changes caused by COVID-19.
What is your firm’s main focus and what makes it unique?
Naos Design is an architecture and interior design firm founded in 1993 that boasts thirty years of experience in seeing its projects through to completion. The firm has always specialised in the Aesthetics and Hairdressing sector, working with renowned partners in the sector, as well as in commercial premises, offices and private locations. In recent years, the firm has distinguished itself by gaining further experience in the restaurant sector, designing elegant contemporary interiors and allowing every customer to express their identity in a distinctive way in a highly competitive context.
Let’s talk about the Niwa and Nishiki projects, two restaurants in Milan. Do the two projects have architectural features in common?
Niwa is definitely an elevated version of Nishiki, which enabled us to further develop certain stylistic concepts that we initially tackled with the first restaurant.
We deliberately maintained a common thread in the aesthetic and colours to evoke the bond between the two restaurants, which stand out for their very special character. For example, the golden vein patterns of the Japanese porcelain known as Kintsugi applied to the walls, or the majestic stone working of the counter at the Niwa restaurant’s entrance, evoking the mountains of Japan. For Nishiki we chose the Slate Black colour from the Cornerstone collection, in the 60x120 cm size, and the Grey colour from the Stone Project collection, in the 30x60 cm size. For Niwa restaurant, Emilceramica’s Be-Square collection has been used for the floor, chosen in the Concrete colour and 120x240 cm size, while for the wall covering in the kitchen a “brick-effect” 7.5x30 cm solution was adopted with the Regoli di Provenza product in the petroleum colour.