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La Pavoni 'Modello Concorso' aka 'Diamante'

The Art of the Matter
La Pavoni 'Modello Concorso' aka 'Diamante'
Designed by Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari in 1956

One of the great icons of mid-century modern Italian design and perhaps the most beautiful lever espresso machine ever created.  This dream-machine is the ultimate frothed wet dream for every self-respecting Italian Barista. In 1956, Gio Ponti, chief editor of the Italian design- and architectural magazine Domus, announced an international design competition for a coffee machine. Domus selected the design by Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari, perhaps not surprising because the design was influenced by the architecture of Gio Ponti. At the time of their selection, both Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari were still young and unknown. But that would all change after their exposure in Domus. Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari nicknamed the espresso machine the "Diamond" for the multi-faceted shape of the elements which could be composed to obtain different combinations of colors and sizes. It was sold by La Pavoni under the commercial name of 'Modello Concorso' until the early 1960s. After a hiatus of almost 50 years, La Pavoni has tried to revive the 'Diamante' under their 'Blue Brand' label; sadly the new design does not incorporate the original levers (see below). 

We highly recommend a visit to Enrico Maltoni's Espresso Machine Museum in Binasco, Milan, Italy where the above images were taken. Enrico Maltoni has a well-curated and extensive collection of some of the most beautiful and rarest models we have ever seen.

Collezione Enrico Maltoni

Image and Text Credits for this article: Enrico Maltoni, La Pavoni, Lucia Fontana for moderndesign.org