Maurizio Lai Uses Geometric Light to Shape Sushi Club Restaurant Near Milan

LED rods are inlayed with partitions, illuminating the reception desk and bar counter. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 

For Italian architect Maurizio Lai, the goal of restaurant design is to create an experience of “shapes and atmospheres,” using aesthetics as a tool of recognizable branding. In his fifth collaboration with Sushi Club, a Japanese gastronomic restaurant group based in Northern Italy, Lai’s design for the brand's Cesano Maderno location is a study on geometric lighting. The space, which includes two floors, centers around a hanging light fixture made from delicate glass blades, which amplify beams of light in every direction courtesy of mezzanine mirror walls.

Beams of light add dimension to the metallic dining room. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 

Sushi Club’s modern interiors are defined by a chromatic continuity that favors dark gray tones, contrasting the dynamic use of light.  The resulting dichotomy is both refined yet welcoming, “a real scenographic backdrop,” as Lai says.  LED rods throughout diffuse light onto the main dining floor while the upper level is surrounded by large panoramic windows.

Geometric light installations surround diners. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 

“The dialogue between materials and light accompanies all the environments, including the stairs and passageways,” Lai explains. Porcelain stoneware floor coverings with a concrete effect add contrast to the restaurant’s composition, as do the custom furnishings throughout designed by Lai and handcrafted by local artisans, making for an eclectic sushi restaurant in the heart of Northern Italy.

The dining areas feature chairs from Calligaris. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 
The cascading central light fixture creates a modern ambiance. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 
An intimate dining nook. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 
The second floor overlooks the first floor dining area. Photography courtesy of Maurizio Lai. 

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