La Rinascente
This prestigious project saw Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands remodel a significant part of the historic La Rinascente department store in the heart of Milan, to create a retail and dining environment to fit the incomparable setting on the Piazza Duomo. The design dramatically changed the floor plan twisting the central space into a parallelogram shape in order to accommodate all new facilities and direct customers more coherently through the store. The unique concept for the food market revolves around an internal street offering a choice of retailers, product and product knowledge. The restaurants are accessed from this street and as customers arrive by escalator, they are treated to a staggering view of the Gothic cathedral. The main feature is the multi-faceted acrylic ceiling, which takes its structural and colour cues from the idea of a honeycomb. The three-dimensional expanse of back-illuminated translucent panels also unites and animates the entire space. The design itself evolved from the same geometry as the floor plan, and is made up of a series of triangular elements. The lighting and acoustic treatments control the mood and style of service during different times of the day, offering a shift in atmosphere from day to evening. The concept aimed at creating a space where people can comfortably shop or settle down to a meal without a sense that they are going to a restaurant in a department store. The success of this approach was confirmed by the growing popularity of La Rinascente’s top floor, which is now one the most trendy destinations of the fashion’s capital. Client: La Rinascente Architect: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Restaurant consultant: Ford McDonald Consultancy Lighting consultant: Equation Lighting Design Quantity surveyor: Davis Langdon Mechanical engineer: BRE Engineering s.r.l. Electrical engineer: CS Progetti

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