Maurizio Lai, Lai Studio, Moya restaurant, Asian theme restaurant, Light installations, Elitìs fabric coverings, Florim stoneware, Restaurant Design, Hospitality design

The sculptural fluidity of Moya restaurant

Italian architect Maurizio Lai redesigns a fusion cuisine restaurant in the North of Italy with bright installations, bold signs and abstract geometries

Strings of light, sculptural fluidity and boreal shades together create a new degree of experience for Moya restaurant. Italian architect Maurizio Lai designs with sartorial care a place where lights, colours and abstract geometries express an intensely creative compositional language. For Moya, a fusion cuisine restaurant, bright installations and geometric cuts recur within an essential container, building an unexpected identity model, far from the collective imagination of a standardised Asian eatery.

Lai devises the character and the functions of a place of over 1,000 sq-m, providing an opportunity to surprise and reassure the guest. The architectural reconfiguration of the former building is highlighted by the facade design. A process of underlining and accents carries out linear luminous elements, while oversized windows make the interior space permeable.

The synergy between architecture, design and the artistic gesture, which characterises Lai's work, expresses itself in a joyful light installation. A fluid and climbing light string that connects the space as a three-dimensional signature, it introduces a theme of dynamism and verticality and dominates the hall, developing in height up to the second floor.

The spacious principal dining room is embellished with a second installation. An orderly scan of digital prints on backlit polycarbonate plates paints an essentially aquatic landscape, with shades adjacent to the colour modulations on the walls, but in contrast with the warmth of the wooden paneling of the room. The horizontal sculpture communicates with the design project along the sidewalls, where a series of custom made lamps draw on polychrome glass the sense of perpetual northern lights.

Moya defines a modern space: it illustrates a novel idea of contemporary aesthetics, through the conjuring of the senses and futurist references, filtered by Lai's visual poetics. The elegant dining rooms, developed on two floors, are carefully distinguished by a chromatic tale, that contrasts the deep tones of the coverings with crystal elements and luminous features. Softly diffused light emerges as a distinctive sign, shining through several custom-made fittings, to amplify the visual experience. Backlit surfaces, diffused projection and recessed lighting mix with the wooden and velvety coatings, as well as with the ceramic and glass coverings, for a fluid sensation.


The seamless floors are in ceramic with a stoneware effect by Florim, benches and seats have a powder-coated iron structure with Elitìs fabric coverings. In the secondary dining room on the ground floor — which overlooks the private garden through a generous window — the natural suggestions are amplified by the effective use of floating glass, which Lai chooses to generate a precise sequence of vertical dividers, illuminated on the coast.

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