Ottagono oyster bar, Milan (Italia)



Milan, Italy



architecture, interior and lighting design


The restaurant is located on the mezzanine floor in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II monumental building, and is part of the public spaces of the luxury hotel TownHouse Galleria. It consists of three rectangular spaces overlooking the octagonal square of the Galleria (hence the name of the bar), and two triangular side spaces, due to the change of angle of the building floor-plan.

The Octagon, at the intersection between the two arms of the Galleria, is one of the most symbolic places in the city, and through the arched windows of the bar you can appreciate its important scultures and pictorial decorations, in addition to the perpetual flow of citizens and tourists under the monumental vaults of iron and glass. In fact the bar and oyster counter were positioned towards the interior of the building, leaving the impressive view to tables and seats by the windows.

The architectural project aimed to reduce construction and architectural elements to essential, emptying the floorplan from additions and retaining only the original arched wall structures. The mass and the rhythm of the arched structures define the character of the space, while the uniformity of tones and materials, and minimization of decorations, were studied to induce in the host an emotional state of calm and well-being. The lighting of spaces is obtained with linear led effects recessed in the ceilings. The counter of the bar and the 5 m long table in one of the lounges (to be used both for dining and for business meetings) are made from the wood of some original beams coming from demolition. The furniture gives to the bar the appearance of private living rooms, with reference to the nickname given by the Milanese to the Gallery: "the living room of Milan”.

(photo Fernando Arias and Umberto Armiraglio)