From Zaha Hadid furniture to Jean Prouvé’s office, here’s what everyone is buzzing about
by Ann Binlot, Architectural Digest
For its 11th edition, Design Miami Basel continues to show a strong selection of 20th- and 21st-century design in the Herzog & De Meuron–designed Messe Basel, right across from Art Basel in the titular Swiss town. The fair, which runs through June 19, features 46 galleries from around the globe (including New York’s Friedman Benda, Copenhagen’s Dansk Møbelkunst Gallery, and Rotterdam’s Galerie Vivid). Artist-designed jewelry over at Elisabetta Cipriani and Louisa Guinness provides wearable works, while New York–based Demisch Danant chose to display rare pieces by French designer Pierre Paulin. Swarovski highlighted the Designers of the Future, while Design at Large shows large-scale architectural structures. “My interest is trying to tell a more round story, a deeper and broader story about 20th-century and 21st-century design. It fleshes out in different ways year after year,” says Design Miami executive director Rodman Primack. Here, we select some of the highlights of Design Miami Basel 2016.
Jean Prouvé’s Bureau des Etudes at Patrick Seguin
“It was his Bureau d’Etudes, so every decision in terms of architecture, design, engineering, prototypes, models, everything, was made in this building,” says Patrick Seguin, who mounted an actual copy of Jean Prouvé’s office—one of the most impressive displays at the fair—complete with original details, in his stand. After Prouvé moved out, the building had several occupants—the latest being a swingers club and brothel—before Seguin, who owns the most Prouvé structures in the world, purchased the work space.
The Collectors Lounge
Berlin architecture firm Kuehn Malvezzi worked with Finnish design company Artek and Danish textilemaker Kvadrat to create an experiential lounge composed of inverted rooms. “The rooms move to the middle, and the furniture is arranged around them,” explains Artek managing director Marianne Goebl. Midcentury sofas by Finnish designer Ilmari Tapiovaara are covered in Kvadrat fabric designed by Raf Simons. “It has a bit of a Memphis impact, and we felt this sofa is a bit like a mannequin,” says Goebl. “It’s very simple, and you can dress it however you want.”
Ettore Sottsass Flying Carpet Chair and Couch at Erastudio Apartment-Gallery
Milan-based Erastudio Apartment-Gallery brought in a chair and couch designed in 1974 by Memphis pioneer Ettore Sottsass. The furniture initially had a less-than-stellar reception upon its release in the ’70s, but the Memphis resurgence is sure to bring a more positive reaction this time around. “As you can see, it has the look of a carpet—look at the footrest,” says Sumit Gupta, a member of the sales team at Erastudio Apartment-Gallery. The chair does, indeed, evoke the feel of Aladdin on a flying carpet.
Aage Porsbo Chandelier at Dansk Møbelkunst
Aage Porsbo designed this brass chandelier, produced by Kemp & Lauritzen, for the Skovlunde Church in Denmark in 1972. With only 28 copies in existence, the sleek object is a hot commodity. Unfortunately for collectors, the one Dansk Møbelkunst brought to the fair has already sold for nearly $25,000.
Pierre Paulin at Demisch Danant
To mark the late French designer Pierre Paulin’s current retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, New York gallery Demisch Danant brought together a group of rare Paulin pieces created between the late 1960s and mid-’80s. Three standouts include the lime-green F286 Multimo three-seater sofa, the F271 Multimo chair, and the 1981 Cathedral table, whose curved aluminum panels were meant to emulate Notre Dame’s arches.
Zaha Hadid Design
Though the inimitable architect and designer passed away in March, her legacy lives on over at stand G47, where a selection of her furnishings are on display, including curved marble tables from the Mercuric collection, barnacle-like Tau vases, and the smooth-as-ice Liquid Glacial chairs, cocktail table, and stools.
Diego Giacometti Bookcase at Galerie Jacques Lacoste
Design Miami executive director Rodman Primack referred to the Diego Giacometti bookcase as a museum piece, and it’s easy to see why. Giacometti made the stunning bronze item for Marc Barbezat between 1966 and 1969, when the publisher commissioned him to create a room of books. The shelves stood in Barbezat’s apartment until recently.
Artist-Designed Jewelry at Louisa Guinness Gallery and Elisabetta Cipriani
London-based Louisa Guinness Gallery created a museumlike exhibition highlighting jewelry designed by the likes of artists Man Ray, Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, and Anish Kapoor. Over at London gallery Elisabetta Cipriani are the Ai Weiwei gold bracelets that emulate the rebar the Chinese artist gathered from fallen buildings after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Ron Arad Armadillo Tea Pavilion
Revolution Precrafted Properties presents the Ron Arad Armadillo Tea Pavilion in the Design at Large section of the fair. Built for indoor and outdoor use, this independent shell structure “provides an intimate enclosure, shelter, or place of reflection within a garden, landscape, or large internal space,” as the wall text reads. The modular components allow for a number of configurations, making it a versatile structure wherever it goes.
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