There is an apartment in Le Corbusier’s famous Cité Radieuse (radiant city) in Marseille, which is almost completely preserved in its original 1952 condition. Appt. No 50 is privately owned and it is thanks to the generosity and passion of its owner/occupant that the place is made accessible to a wider public during the summer months of each year. As proof that Le Corbusier’s visionary Unité d’Habitation has the same vibrancy today as when it was originally conceived the apartment is turned into a temporary stage for the ideas and works of contemporary designers.
A short series of scenographic installations has been realized over the years; Konstantin Grcic’s project is the third in line following Jasper Morrison (2008) and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (2010). Apart from placing a selection of his favorite furniture and objects Grcic decided to tag the walls of the apartment with four blown up scans from an original punk fanzine.
“The punk motifs are tempting a slightly devious link between two completely unrelated worlds: Le Corbusier’s architecture and punk rock. Without forcing the idea of common grounds, I find that both have a rawness and uncompromising spirit which I have always found compellingly beautiful. Bringing both cultures together in this project felt most inspiring and, in the end, surprisingly fitting”, explains the designer.
15 July -15 August 2013, Cité Radieuse, Unité d’habitation, Le Corbusier Appartement 50, rue 280 boulevard Michelet, Marseille, Photography by Philippe Savoir & Fondation Le Corbusier / ADAGP, via: Domus
Candy Collection reinvents the steel reinforcement bars normally used for concrete structures. Thanks to an industrial coating process, the common and usually unattractive rusty steel bars are given a new and seducing identity. The Candy shelves explores beauty and simplicity of ready-available construction materials to make furniture. A commonly known bar, by means of a simple design and an industrial intervention, becomes a beautiful and classic piece of furniture. Surprisingly, the purely functional texture of the bar becomes a decorative element once painted.
The Candy shelves clearly refer to 1960’s furniture, through the use of a structure holding boards of varying and contrasted colours and finishes as well as perforated metal tray elements and accessories.
“The name, Prehistoric Aliens, was inspired by Peru’s fantastic cultural heritage which often seems very mystical and ancient to our western eyes. The small coffee tables are almost like small spaceships that have just landed, with their leader, The Robot.”
Galerie Vivid is very proud to be the first ever Dutch gallery to organize a comprehensive presentation of the Dutch architect’s original works. Many of his iconic designs will be on display. Amongst others his famous ‘Red–Blue’ chair, the ‘ZigZag’ chair and ‘Beugelstoel’. The works come from major Dutch private collections, most have never seen by the public before.
The generation that has known Gerrit Rietveld in person and worked with him is slowly disappearing. This exhibition will tell the story of these people, show their love for the work of Rietveld and let us admire the Rietveld furniture they collected. The collections represented include architects, previous employees of Rietveld’s architecture firm, teachers and traditional design dealers. One of the highlights of the exhibition will be Rietveld’s, monochrome black ‘rood-blauwe stoel’ designed in 1919, that was commissioned by the famous Dutch designer Kho Liang Ie in 1963.
Gerrit Th. Rietveld, Galerie VIVID, Rotterdam, Netherlands April 7 – June 2, 2013, via: Designartnews
Does a comfortable armchair always have to be heavy, bulky and thickly upholstered? With “Membrane”, Benjamin Hubert demonstrates how an inviting and capacious aesthetic can also be achieved using lightweight, transparent materials. A 3D woven textile mesh is tightly stretched across a CNC-machined framework, the resulting lines summoning images of tents, plane wings or zeppelins. The transparent woven fabric affords glimpses of the structure underneath, the multiple layers creating lovely moiré effects. The overall impression is an armchair that is reduced to the essentials, providing maximum comfort with minimal material. Its generous volume stands in intriguing contrast to its transparency and lightness. “Membrane” is so lightweight that it is easy to move from place to place. For example, the armchair can simply be carried out temporarily onto the balcony or terrace whenever the sun beckons.
Membrane Chair, by Benjamin Hubert for ClassiCon
This single piece, organically shaped armchair designed by Hayon for &tradition, was inspired by the harmony of curves. Sinuous movements in nature, the push and pull of rounded forms and the interplay of light and shadows, Curves are both seductive and comforting, the natural embellishment and enhancement to linear forms. The key to the design was the creation of a flexible, comfortable shape that would adjust to various body types with its modern and inviting form. A combination of rich materials and various finishes allow for a wide range of options: from a basic naked shell to quality Kvadrat wool upholstery or a luxurious leather alternative. Available in various finishes and ergonomically designed with a high backrest, the chair is both functional and comfortable. Celebrating versatility, it can be used in intimate settings, casual comfort or in the stripped down minimal atmosphere of the workspace. Simplicity, elegance and function combine to make the design consistent with the rich heritage of the &tradition brand while introducing contradictory playfulness, combining Mediterranean exuberance with Nordic restraint, joy and logic in harmony with nature.
Catch Chair, by Jaime Hayon, for &Tradition
A chair with back legs like wooden stakes that pierce the sides of the backrest. The stakes give the backrest a nipped-in curve which provides firm lower back support and comfortable seating despite its compact size. A sweetly-sized lounge chair inspired by ‘supermini’ cars like the Fiat 500 and smart cars that easily navigate Milan’s streets.
Peg Chair, by Nendo, for Cappellini
Ro is made with great craftsmanship and in the highest sustainable quality. Combined with the sculptural and elegant design, the result is a functional and aesthetic chair. The form of the shell gives you the choice of being part of what goes on in the room or relaxing in your own private space. “Ro” means tranquillity in Danish. The name was chosen because it captures the point of the chair in just two letters, thus reflecting the Nordic approach and concept of beauty. “We wanted a chair that was comfortable as well as beautiful. My goal was to create a slim and elegant chair that encourages reflection and comfort”, says Jaime Hayon.
The easy chair is available in nine colours: three traditional options (black, grey and taupe), three bright colours (violet, blue and yellow) and three soft colours (light pink, sage-green and sand). For a more vibrant look, the chair features two different textures: one for the seat shell and one for the cushions, which supports the contrasted expression of the hard shell and the warm and soft interior.
Ro Armchair, by Jaime Hayón, for Republic of Fritz Hansen
Gerald Griffith at work in his studio:
Wright has offered at auction several original drawings of the Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe.
When Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chair was introduced in 1929 it was critically acclaimed but the cost and difficulty of chrome plating the frames limited production. By the early 1950s technology had caught up to Mies van der Rohe’s progressive furniture designs and both Knoll Associates and Gerald Griffith were producing his forms. Chairs produced by Knoll and Gerald Griffith can be distinguished by looking at the intersection of the base; works made by Gerald Griffith feature a crisp hard-edged intersection while versions by Knoll have a reinforced curved intersection.
The Mies van der Rohe office found Gerald Griffith in 1949. The challenge of creating the Barcelona chair in stainless steel – something engineers said could not be done – appealed to Griffith’s tenacious personality. After much experimentation and exploration, Griffith completed the task and he produced Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona and Tugendhat designs in stainless steel for a number of years.
Provenance: The Office of Mies van der Rohe, Chicago | Edward A. Duckett, Bowling Green | David Bryant, Bowling Green In celebration of Mies van der Rohe’s 125th birthday, Wright’s senior specialist Michael Jefferson presented the history of the Barcelona chair to The Mies van der Rohe Society.
Blueprint and Elevation of the Barcelona chair, 1950, Auction at Wright
Unlike many other Italian producers, Mattiazzi keeps all the facets of wood production under one roof. By default, they have become a rare company that is able to shape wood as if it were plastic, while embracing ever-increasing challenges through their own R&D. Industrial Facility have continued to push Mattiazzi further into the exploration of robot-craftsmanship – following on from their first collaboration with the Branca Chair.
Radice finds its underlying beauty and simplicity in its structure. It is the bringing together of the front-half of a traditional 4-legged stool with a single back leg – the root. It is a visual improvisation, where two things come together unexpectedly.
“Radice has some tension in its form and it is a slight surprise that the third leg works as well as it does to resolve the overall structure. It is in some ways structurally diagrammatic, yet is made comfortable visually and physically because of how this third leg supports the seat,” says Sam Hecht.
The backrest is small and reassuring, allowing a coat or handbag to rest on it; and the seat is open for large and small people. It is light both visually and in weight and uses no screws or metal fittings, yet also passes stringent BIFMA standards ensuring it is structurally sound, stable and reliable. The wood stain options for Radice are based on the cycle of an autumn leaf turning colour.
Radice Stool, by Industrial Facility, for Mattiazzi