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16 May 2018
AB Concept convert magnificent Milanese mansion into new restaurant for Paper Moon
By Kim Megson
AB Concept convert magnificent Milanese mansion into new restaurant for Paper Moon
Guests can dine in a secluded garden
Photo: AB Concept
A new restaurant brand from the creator of the hugely popular Paper Moon chain has launched in the heart of Milan’s Golden Rectangle, housed within a 200-year old mansion.

Palazzo Reina, which was commissioned by the noble Milanese Reina family and built in 1830 by architect Nicola Dordoni, has been carefully restored and converted by Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept especially for the first Paper Moon Giardino – “an elegant and calming sanctuary” within the bustling city.

Original design features, including the building’s neoclassical façade, have been preserved to honour the architectural value of its surroundings. Guests enter through a traditional Milanese gated entrance and are led to the restaurant through bright central courtyard.

For the interiors, AB Concept have taken inspiration from the area’s eclectic history and architecture. Dramatic vaulted ceilings with antique murals and geometric elements feature alongside Venetian-style flooring across the rooms, and guests are able to dine or drink across a selection of intimate spaces, including a grand salone, a parlour, a wine library and a traditional courtyard garden.

Subtle colour palettes are intended to contrast with the finery and create an atmosphere of comfort and tranquillity.

AB Concept teamed up with Italian luxury furniture brand Promemoria to design a bespoke seating collection, including bar stools, dining and lounge chairs, while their own FLUX lighting collection, created in partnership with glassware manufacturer Lasvit, is also showcased throughout the restaurant.

“Our vision was to create a homely and desirable destination,” explained Ng. “We wanted guests to leave with a memorable experience, and a cosy space that feels like a private residence. Paper Moon Giardino is a true testament and homage to the former mansion.”

Stefania Galligani and Claudio Bertoni, owners of Paper Moon, commented: "We had the opportunity to work with Ed and Terence on a project in Portugal as part of our brand's international expansion and we clicked instantly – we loved their design concepts and approach.

"As a result, when such an incredible space became available in Milan, we turned to them, certain that they would have fallen in love with the old mansion as much as we did. Ed and Terence have done a magnificent job in translating our ideas into an elegant yet charming design, and have created the perfect atmosphere for guests at Paper Moon Giardino."

Founded in 1977, Pio Galligani and his wife Enrica Del Rosso founded the first Paper Moon on Milan’s via Bagutta, around the corner from the new property. In the following four decades, the restaurant – inspired, in part, by the 1973 movie of the samne name – has grown into a chain spanning locations including Doha, Hong Kong and Istanbul.

AB Concept have worked with hotel operators including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Rosewood Hotels, Mandarin Oriental and W Hotels, as well as restaurateurs and developers. They have most recently celebrated the opening of the Mei Ume restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square.

Ng is featured in the latest issue of CLADglobal's quarterly magazine, CLADmag, discussing the joys of F&B design and the art of planning ‘Instagram moments’.

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