Page 32 - Contract Lighting Magazine February 2019
P. 32

NOW SERVING
A rich mix of mediums, colors, and textures distinguish the eating areas in this special “diner.”
showcased American design talents on the
global stage during Milan Design Week. It visually delighted a full serving of patrons who visited the fully functional restaurant and nightclub, out  ed with four distinct spaces that expressed Rockwell’s and Gregory’s visual narrative of the classic diner’s evolution across time and the U.S. map.
While technically in operation for less than one week, the architecture, furnishings, and lighting for The Diner were planned and implemented with scrupulous a ention to detail.
Longtime collaborators Rockwell and Gregory took into account that their audience of discriminating professional designers would turn practiced eyes to scrutinize the poetry-and-verse communicated by this environment. They agreed that Fair-goers would opt to stay close to the conference site when looking for an informal meal, that is, if they could  nd quality casual cuisine in a  rst-class venue.
Following suggestions from Surface Media, the project’s sponsor, Rockwell and Gregory
“THE DINER IS STILL UNIQUELY AMERICAN, MAINTAINING ITS PLACE
IN OUR CULTURAL ICONOGRA- PHY.”
—David Rockwell
were led to a vacant vintage arched concrete vault space beneath the rail tracks leading to the city’s main train station, Milan Centrale, which is close to many of the Fair’s major activities. With characteristic organizational abilities and highly honed design intellects, the masterful handling of the integrated theme that Rockwell and Gregory created bounced fun and fashion o  the vault’s walls.
Rockwell, along with the LAB at Rockwell Group team,  rst considered the 46'-long counter as
the critical center for The Diner. “It’s the most democratic of the spaces that characterize the traditional American diner as we have known it over the years,” Rockwell explains.
Creating a distinct, colorful visual style, Rockwell Group interpreted the a raction of individual diners to make strangers into a “community” that would be si ing elbow-to-elbow at diner counters.
“The diner is still uniquely American, maintaining its place in our cultural iconography,” Rockwell notes. “One of the things I was intrigued with from
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