The building was once used as a depot for horse-drawn trams and, subsequently, it became an electricity distribution facility. Now it houses the ADI Design Museum – Compasso d’Oro, where visitors can admire the entire repertoire of projects belonging to the historical collection of the Compasso d’Oro Award, which was inspired by the architect Gio Ponti and instituted in 1954 to enhance the quality of Made in Italy design. The more than 5.000 m2 area brings together various exhibition spaces, a cafeteria, a bookshop, some meeting places, a museum conservatory and the offices, as well as a glass gallery that crosses the building connecting two parallel streets that delimit it. The museum is managed by the ADI Compasso d’Oro Collection Foundation, which was established by the Industrial Design Association with the partnership of Electa Editore (Mondadori Group). They manage the Officina Design Shop bookshop, which is specialized in design and graphics, while CHIC – Charming Italian Chef association has been in charge of the Officina Design Cafè since June.
During a press meeeting held at the beginning of June, the project was presented by Luciano Galimberti, president of ADI; the architect Marco Ferreri, who was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for his career in 2020 and who conceived the bookshop and cafeteria setting (entirely coated with copper, antibacterial and easily recyclable material), Chiara Giudice, exhibition and marketing manager of Electa Editore, and Raffaele Gemignani, director of CHIC. This association includes about 120 professionals – i.e. restaurateurs, pizza chefs, pastry chefs, gelato makers, bakers – and they alternate periodically to make all the products available at the Officina Design Cafè. The full menu is on charmingitalianchef.com and it includes hot dishes (which are vacuum-cooked in the chefs’ facilities, maintained thanks to the cold chain and regenerated on site), sandwiches, pizzas and focaccias, cold dishes, and pastries.
Gemignani underlined the importance that his association dedicates to the theme of sustainability to reduce the environmental impact of catering. Thanks to the CHIC Respect project they promote environment respect and the responsible use of natural resources and consumption, with the aim of educating consumers to quality cuisine and good taste, through the attention they pay to raw materials, cooking practices and the right ingredient proportions in their dishes.