HOST Milan Part 4 — Grand Stands
While here in Canada we would probably call the individual company exhibits “booths” or “kiosks”, at the Host Milano 39th International Hospitality Exhibition in Milan, Italy, they called them “stands”. And what grand stands they were! We found a great deal of inspiration for our future projects while browsing the displays. Here are the ones that still stand out in our minds, almost two months later:
The Alternative Italia stand was they were created specially for the exhibition, and honestly, if it was a restaurant in our area we’d be visiting it on a regular basis. The display was set up to mimic different areas that you would typically find in a cafe, restaurant or market, all combined into one large stand – complete with Chefs who prepared real food on real cooking equipment, right in front of your eyes! The atmosphere is warm and comfortable, with featuring light woods, open shelving, and seating that is interesting, yet surprisingly comfortable.
Throughout the Alternative Italia stand you can spot hanging lights with wire-frame shades (the wire-frame look is a current trend that is currently being widely used – once you start looking for it, you can spot it all over the place). Throughout the space you can spot the fantastic swing chairs that we wrote about in Part 1. We hope to incorporate elements from this stand into a future project – especially the swing set chairs! (Imitation is flattery after all, right?)
Slatted wood walls create intimacy without completely obscuring one space from another. The simplicity of the colour & material palette in this exhibit is another popular trend that we find appealing – darker elements such as the black flooring and the iron shelf supports are paired with woods. In this case the wood species is a lighter variety (pine or birch perhaps?) that is left in it’s natural state; against the dark backdrop, the wood really stand sout. We are big on contrast, and we love the way it is created here.
Here they have set up an area that emulates a retail deli & bakery. The texture created on the front face of the stand by using wood planks of different depths is simple, yet sexy. More iron display hardware supports the hanging meats and wooded bread baskets. And, i f you peer behind the people on the left, you can see where the seesaw table and chairs from Part 1 fit into the overall layout of this stand.
I was too impatient to wait for these people to move out of the way of the seesaw table and chairs, which a you can see little better here…
Alternative Italia also incorporated a great deal of live greenery into their stand, which was a refreshing inside the rather austere convention-center-style building. On one side of the booth, they used the greenery to create a natural delineation between their space and the rest of the convention. We like the use of crates as planters against a partial height slatted wall.
Speaking of using greenery to define space, this booth featured planters and benches constructed out of woven sticks, much like the wattle from old-fashioned wattle-and-daub construction. The end result entire stand was natural, lush, and beautiful kiosk.
Mokarico Caffé‘s stand’s most prominent feature was their enormous sign, which was actually made up entirely of red and white coffee cups. Whoever was in charge of advertising for this booth is really good at their job, because this both got our attention and was quite memorable.
The Brao Caffé (which includes Mokamo, Mrs. Rose, and Brao Coffee) had a traditional coffee-shop palette in shades of warm wood and chocolate-coloured flocked wallpaper. They added some visual interest with more modern elements like translucent acrylic Louis ghost side chairs and a reflective metallic ceiling.
The Lievito Bakery & Brewery went for a steampunk-meets-classic-café look, with wood, glass, and lots of copper accents, most prevalently near the counter. Especially eye-catching are the large copper vats and tubing (presumably for the brewery side) exposed at the back.
At the Tecnoarredamenti we opted to take a photo through glass from outside, peering through the shelving to capture the layered elements of the space, and also because the stand attracted so many!
They were doing brisk business when we went by, so obviously we weren’t the only ones to find the decor welcoming.
The Must Espresso stand had some really great chairs and also incorporate the oh so popular chalk board signage idea.
We loved the look of the streamlined steel shelving and clean lines at the Boncafe stand. (Also, I wonder how many espresso makers there are in Italy?)
The Costadoro Coffee Lab displayed an entirely different aesthetic, with whitewashed wood, white subway tiles, and white plastic bar stools that creates a welcoming and somewhat wholesome nostalgia feel.
…and the Hardy Coffee Company used similar colour schemes for their booths, with light woods and live plants. Stylistically, however, they could not be more different. The Ravasio stand was all smooth, glossy finishes, bar tables, and tall stools with wire frame bases (see, there are those wire frames again!). The Hardy stand, on the other hand, was constructed primarily of raw wood, what seems to be pine two-by-sixes. In both cases, the light woods, high vertical lines of the beams, and plentiful lighting create an open feeling despite the restricted space.
The Proaster stand was very interesting, mostly because it looked more like a mad scientist’s laboratory than something you might find in a coffee shop.
The clear acrylic chairs for spectators of the Milano Latte Art Challenge caught our eye. (Honestly, we didn’t even know that Latte Art Championships are a thing, but apparently the competition featured “14 of the world’s best baristas competing in 9 Latte Art disciplines”.) We just thought that someone liked to play with their food. ;)
The Best Cold stand showcases a great example of a high-end boulangerie/deli combination with a more classic European look, where the desaturated colours of the decor directs customer focus toward the goods for sale. We love the frameless glass enclosures for the displays (some refrigerated, some heated, others at room temperature) that are seamlessly integrated into the counter tops without any visible hardware to detract from the mouth watering goodies!
We loved the hanging metal fish at the Baccanale by Afa Arredamenti stand; they contrasted beautifully with the organic roughness of the knotty pine counter and tables. The fish also served as a visually appealing advertisement for what the stand was selling; between the metal decorations and the large neon “Fish Corner” sign, their specialty was obvious from across the convention hall.
The PF Stile stand was beautiflly modern, with the clean lines and saturated colours of the booth itself providing a tasteful backdrop to the company’s tables and chairs. This company’s entire line of tables and chairs would be well-suited to a lot of the restaurant projects that we undertake at Urbanomic Interiors. We particularly liked the Balu: a cube constructed out of a punched steel sheet, which is lit from the inside with a plethora of LEDs, creating an interesting lighting pattern on the surrounding surfaces. We also liked the Linea line of chairs, although we prefer the white and black from the website over the purple from the booth.
Myyour specializes in products mostly made from resin and/or molded plastic. To the right of the stand you can see their Agata floor lamp on display; much like Slide Design, they have taken the look of a classic table lamp, and then blown it up in white plastic, most likely polyethylene. Stylistically, the two different companies come at it from very different sources; while the inspiration for the Slide Design lamps are is baroque, the Agata ones are very late-1900′s.
We loved all the white-on-white furnishings at the Belair stand. Particularly of interest to us were the Papatya Flora chairs, which we would love to incorporate into one of our future restaurant designs.
This was only a VERY small portion of the stands at HOST and we didn’t even have a chance to see them all. We will definitely return to the next edition and make a point of exploring even more.
Stay tuned for Part 5!