words Amy Zalin
A golden ceiling unites the restaurants, bars and concessions of La Rinascente, a department store in central Milan. The 1,900sq m food hall, designed by London practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, fills the top floor of the neo-classical building.
The intricate patterning of the ceiling references that of the nearby Duomo, with acrylic panels that protrude outwards to create a mountainous landscape. An ambient honey-coloured glow is created by fluorescent lights behind the panels. “We wanted you to know that you’re at the top of the building – it’s like a skylight,” says partner Paul Sandilands.
The strength of the feature ceiling allowed for the concessions to create their own identity through the design of their own units. “In Italy they see department stores more as general stores. We wanted to be adventurous and change that,” says Sandilands. LDS collaborated with British restaurateur Dominic Ford, who has worked on London’s Oxo Tower and Harvey Nichols.
images © Chris Gascoigne/VIEW
top image The geometric ceiling references Milan’s Duomo, which the food hall overlooks