In Milan, in the heart of the Porta Nuova district, Maurizio Lai designs Japanese restaurant IYO Aalto and interprets an original Japan

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Canaletto walnut covers all the surfaces of the space dedicated to the gourmet restaurant while the ceiling is decorated with float glass

The new Porta Nuova district in Milan is enriched with new names for streets and squares every day, such as the recent Piazza Alvar Aalto, as well as new businesses of course. A recent opening is represented by restaurant IYO Aalto, a project by Maurizio Lai, architect, set designer and designer, spread over a 320 sq m area.

The imposing wall-mounted bottle holder consists of a structure in polished steel and doors in reflective glass

A new Japanese restaurant, the IYO Aalto in Milan

The space features small signs on the surfaces, such as the small brass inlays inserted in the wooden slats of the floor and the exposed screws of furniture. Canaletto walnut and porphyry are the materials that define all the spaces. Walls define spaces without rigid divisions, while all pieces of furniture, made in collaboration with Poliform Contract, are bespoke.

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The kitchen, enclosed in a glass case, is a hi-tech jewel

The restaurant is divided into two separate spaces. While the sushi counter reproduces the magic and rigor of traditional Tokyo’s edomae sushi for a small number of guests, the gourmet restaurant serves dishes from the Japanese tradition adding a contemporary touch.

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Canaletto walnut sliding panels act as brise-soleils and let natural light in

IYO Aalto is the second restaurant of Claudio Liu, the owner of IYO Taste Experience. IYO Taste Experience, one Michelin star, is a consolidated presence in Milan, near via Paolo Sarpi, and a guarantee as to Japanese cuisine. [Text Laura Galimberti-Photo Andrea Martiradonna]

A modular glass partition contributes to making spaces penetrable while housing ancient sake barrels

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