The new concept by architect Nick Maltese for the historic “Frank” venue in via Lecco 1 in Milan

Who is Frank? This was the starting point of the architect Nick Maltese in defining the guidelines for the restyling project of Frank, the historic address for the Milanese aperitif in the Porta Venezia area, for years a tribute to Frank Sinatra - The Voice. “When he was born, Frank was targeting a predominantly local clientele with special needs and a fairly uniform approach to fun. Over time, the audience has expanded not only by age group, but also by background and origin, it has become cosmopolitan. It has become essential to rethink the volumes and contours of the container, with a more recognizable language, which is captivating but immediately familiar ", explains the Maltese architect.

From New York to Milan

A new concept and a new image to tell the desire to move away from the usual dynamics and get closer to an interpretation that bets on a more characterful design. In Maltese's work the sources of inspiration are many, in this case the style of the New York clubs, from Downtown Manhattan to the Village, a reference point for a community of artists, musicians, photographers and creatives looking for new ideas and inspirations. eager to recover a more intimate and welcoming dimension. In the heart of one of the most animated areas of Milan, Frank has the ability to change throughout the day, welcoming people in a casual-chic way from lunch to dinner and for the evening.

Aesthetic fluidity

The project is developed in two defined macro-areas, harmonized with each other in an enveloping aesthetic and chromatic fluidity. The entrance with reception desk is like a small foyer, animated by the presence of high tables for quick drinks. On the right, the area dedicated to food and open kitchen. On the opposite side, the dinner-club area, with bar counter, for dinners and events. To mark the rooms, round arches that "pierce" the space and black & white wallpaper with naturalistic views signed by Maltese and produced by Inkiostro Bianco.

Finishes and materials

From the entrance to the largest room, the finishes grow in intensity, culminating in a mix of industrial-style fabrics and surfaces, such as the perforated metal wall that forms the back of the room. The different textures blend together thanks to the color palette that mixes warm and soft shades (cream, champagne, marron glacé) with the intensity of Prussian blue. For the fabrics, a riot of cream, gray and midnight blue velvets, as on the Calligaris armchairs.The urban roughness of the room is echoed by Atlas Concorde's 3D Wall Carve coatings, a fine texture that accentuates the scenographic appearance of the walls, overcoming raw minimalism thanks to a pleasantly unexpected tactile three-dimensionality.

Who is Frank?

The lighting, resolved with Vistosi chandeliers, enhances and allows you to capture unexpected details, creating the atmosphere of the great musical productions that have characterized the last fifty years. But ... Who is Frank? "I wanted to pay homage to the many Frank protagonists of the international art scene, from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa, and create a club where everyone can feel at ease, have a good drink and chat" reveals Nick Maltese. “I like to think that these characters are not just portrayed on a wall, but they are people mixed with other guests, free to live their lives like everyone else. With a cocktail in hand ".

Photos: Simone Furiosi