Bistrot Milano Centrale, Milan – Italy

July 26th, 2014 by retail design blog

In an historic location, the former 3rd class waiting room of Milan’s Central Station, renovated by Autogrill and retaining some of the original decor, another sort of waiting can now be appreciated through the genuine flavours of particular territories, neighbouring or distant: local dishes and old recipes, the use of sourdough, traditional maturing and ageing processes.
Social and cultural transformations have brought about a rethinking of the bistrot’s role and functions, of its very identity.

Concepts like mass production and standardization make way for naturalness, the domestic dimension and traditional artisanal production processes. The Bistrot Centrale is a vibrant ambience evoking a typical covered market, where high quality goes hand in hand with concepts like naturalness, in-season supply, local food, respect for products’ life cycles, and accessibility.
The offering is organized around the following food islands:
– bakery
– tea room / coffee house / orchard
– street foods / dish of the day / fried delicacies
– bread made with sourdough / gourmet and cold dishes / wine-bar

The suppliers, the ambience, the catering concept (offering, service and preparation), the retail offering, the communication and everything else about the Bistrot involve the customer in a unique emotional experience. The objective is to provide a sustainable venue, with a special focus on respect for the natural environment, local culture and economy, also through use of natural materials, the limiting of waste and the promotion of virtuous practice amongst the clientele as well.

Originating in a project in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences, the Bistrot specializes in local foods and wines in an era of global trends and internationalization of offerings. It promotes territorial traditions and resources by developing synergy with Lombardia producers and resuscitating the memory of a heritage that’s both tangible and intangible, a sort of home from home. So a space that was once a nowhere, devoid of dialogue, history and identity, is now Bistrot Milano Centrale, an ideal place for interpersonal relations.

Alongside its refreshment and rest functions, it has a new socializing role, which is favoured by its strategic location, also from a logistical viewpoint. To this end the Bistro offers reading corners, cultural initiatives and culinary events with chefs, food bloggers, sommeliers and local producers. Postmodern consumers are highly discriminating about service quality, increasingly well informed and demanding. They don’t like being bullied by the market, they like to feel they are calling the tune.

The Bistrot is responding to this new reality by fostering a one-to-one relationship with its clientele. Emblematic of this relationship is the in-store communication detailing the benefits for everyone involved, as well as food information (gastronomic, nutritional and geographical).

In designing the Bistrot it was decided to use the following reclaimed elements and materials in the interests of sustainability and eco-compatibility:
– original early 20th armchairs, covered with fabrics obtained from jute sacks once used for flour, coffee, etc.;
– waste wood chippings stuck together with special resins, for the coverings of the front of the bread counter and decorative panelling;
– parquet flooring from old buildings (with the original patterns and decorations), for meal table tops;
– old pallets as original décor elements;
– cooked wood from monitored reforestation plantations; thermal treatment of the wood means it doesn’t have to undergo any staining processes.




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3 thoughts on “Bistrot Milano Centrale, Milan – Italy

  1. George says:

    Hi who is the architect designer responsible for bistro centrale Milano

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