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Priceless Milano
Park Associati
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015
Relationship with the location
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015Priceless Milano is a temporary installation, a living unit designed to be moved around and placed on existing buildings in highly visible locations.

The event, which MasterCard has included in its ‘Priceless Cities’ project - an extensive tourist promotion programme on a vast scale in major international metropolises - was managed by the company 4Ward Events.

Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015Designed to be used as a restaurant and much more, the pavilion will be installed on top of Palazzo Beltrami in Piazza della Scala, Milan.

This travelling restaurant concept has been developed by MasterCard for EXPO 2015 and for the ‘EXPO in città’ project with the chosen location being on the roof of Palazzo Beltrami, home of the Gallerie d’Italia and Intesa Sanpaolo Museum Centre in Piazza della Scala. 4Ward was commissioned to devise and organise the project, which will enable Priceless Milano to offer a unique vantage point overlooking Piazza della Scala and right across the city of Milan from the rooftop of Palazzo Beltrami. This illustrious location already holds the collections of modern and contemporary art that used to belong to the Banca commercial Italiana and which, together with works on display in the adjacent buildings Palazzo Anguissola and Palazzo Brentani, devoted to 19th-century art, constitute a highly prestigious collection that is a real international tourist attraction.

The restaurant is designed like a sort of travelling gastronomic theatre, a ‘Carro di Tespi’ (travelling theatrical company) at which leading chefs from all over the world are invited to show off their skills on a rotational basis during cooking shows held in front of guests. The architectural design of the pavilion, bearing the signature of the architecture and design firm Park Associati, is a highly distinctive but not over-imposing form that confronts rather than collides with surrounding premises.

One single table will accommodate 24 diners engaged in a unique experience; for the occasion sliding walls can be used to separate the kitchen area from the dining area. The table lifts up to the ceiling and the space can be completely opened up. Window-doors providing access to the outside terrace have been placed along the longest sides of the dining area.

Priceless Milano will not only host a restaurant. Each week throughout the whole of EXPO 2015 there will be different themes and trends focusing around a passion for good tastes and flavours. Interviews and testimonies will provide a unique kind of storytelling about the event that will be broadcast on various media channels. Its spin-off in terms of image for both the city of Milan and EXPO will be further echoed by MasterCard’s communication channels, which will promote the event internationally as part of its Priceless Cities programme.

Priceless Milano will be open every day, including weekends and holidays, from 6th May to the end of October. The restaurant can only be booked online through the website, where all the information about the location and events will be available.
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015
Flexible interiors
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015The restaurant is divided into two areas: a kitchen area and dining area. The kitchen is geared to the demands of professional catering. The dining area is set around one single table and boarded around the outside by all-glass facades. Window-doors have also been placed around the sides of the dining area that lead through to two outside terraces.

Guest chefs cook for the diners, entertaining and guiding them on this special culinary journey. Every single moment inside the pavilion is a unique experience; if need be, sliding walls can separate the kitchen from the dining area, and the table can be lifted up to the ceiling to completely free up the space.
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015The object in question is a small piece of architecture constructed in a workshop (150 m²) with the distinctive feature of being easy to move around and assemble in a very short space of time (two days). The building is made out of a modular structure consisting of eight blocks assembled on site that are fully furnished and equipped with all the latest electrical appliances.

The individual pieces are ≤ 3-30 high, 2.30 m wide and between 4.60-5.90 m in length. This means they can be transported by road and then installed (up on the roofs) by crane using tie-rods. The individual units are assembled by placing them alongside each other.
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015The restaurant is assembled in 2 stages. The first stage involves preparing the area and installing the metal-framed substructure on which the pavilion units rest. All 8 units are carefully assembled during the second phase and the metal roof is also set in place.

To speed up assembly and dismantling operations, all the units are constructed and tested out in a workshop, so that they are easy to move and fast to assemble, as well as being sealed together at the chosen location. This is why extremely simple, lightweight manual transportation systems have been envisaged and provided.
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015The restaurant space is furnished with just one big 8 metre long table with a honeycomb-shaped aluminium structure and moulded, vitrified aluminium surface to create a sort of custom-designed technological napkin. 24 Mollina chairs (Driade) complete the furnishing of the space that is entirely lit by Flos lamps.

Guests are greeted by the spectacular sight of a fully-laid table descending from the ceiling into the empty space ready to accommodate the diners.

The space has tiled floors both inside and outside, whose woody look adds a sense of warmth and welcoming. Great attention has been paid to the premises’ acoustics: the ceiling is completely micro-perforated and the vertical parts of the lateral stanchions are lined with sound-absorbing fabric panels.
Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015The kitchen is composed of two separate areas: the food preparation space and cooking facility.

The former, out of view from the diners, is made of suitable materials for handling food; the linoleum floor is fitted with coves in the corners. The walls are lacquered, opaque and washable and the false ceiling is made of opaque lacquered laminated panels.

The cooking area is in full view and features a central island with a Corian steel surface. The tiled floors in the cooking and dining areas create a sense of continuity and the same applies to the false ceiling. The rear wall in this area is covered with a sheet of press-formed, anodised aluminium in bronze/gold shades. This washable surface forms an ideal backdrop for the chefs working in the kitchen.
glass, aluminium, steel

Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015Windows
The glass box is composed of a facade with fixed and sliding units made of glass. Double-glazing with 1.0 W/m2K transmittance will have the following ratings: 70/40 selective coating, 8mm tempering, 15 mm argon 90, 6+6+pvb acoustic layering.
The frames of both the fixed and moving glass windows are heat-insulated and watertight.

Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015Outside cladding

The pavilion is covered with a perforated, press-formed, anodised aluminium skin in bronze/gold shades.
The aluminium skin that rests on top of the restaurant units like a wing is held in position in the middle by 8 “invisible” supports.
This “sail” is designed to protect the structure against solar radiation, also ensuring conditions on the terrace below are comfortable: its broken-wing shape creates an overall sense of lightness and suspension. Saporiti Italia supplied all the furniture.

Commercial buildings
Urban equipment and structures for public areas
Panoramic structures, belvederes
Other architectural structures
Pavilions, kiosks, facilities
Commercial buildings
Bars, cafeterias
Archmaraton Awards
Hotel & Leisure category

Jury motivation:

A nomadic, temporary architecture which explores the unknonn spaces of the city in a new way. A re-interpretation of the space for leisure.
Milan - Installation period:  1 May 2015 / 31 December 2015

Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, pop up restaurant, Expo 2015
Photos © Park Associati
Drawings © Park Associati
Text edited by Park Associati
Courtesy of Park Associati

Park Associati, Priceless Milano, Mastercard, Expo 2015

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