Nendo x WonderGlass

The Fizz takes a sneak peek at ethereal new furniture by Nendo, guaranteed to melt your heart of glass

BY DEE IVA

Previewed at January’s IMM Cologne fair, ‘Melt’ is a ghostly collection of cast glass furniture by award-winning Japanese design studio Nendo in collaboration with Venetian lighting brand WonderGlass.

WonderGlass has previously produced elegant lighting ranges with design luminaries including Marcel Wanders, Jaime Hayon, John Pawson, Raw-Edges and the Bouroullec brothers, but this is the Murano-based firm’s first stab at furniture.

ABOVE: Molten slabs of glass are cast into a sculptural chair
RIGHT: Oki Sato from Nendo examines his handiwork

ABOVE FROM TOP: The ‘Melt’ collection includes side tables, chairs, a dining table and vases; Oki Sato with Maurizio Mussati of WonderGlass
BELOW FROM LEFT: The hot glass glows under the watchful eye of WonderGlass craftsmen; Up close and personal, the surface of the glass retains texture from its molten state

Nendo designer Oki Sato was taken with the properties of flowing molten glass. Having seen how the craftspeople in the WonderGlass workshops approached this lava-like material, he decided to create a set of furniture that was dictated by the natural flow of the glass. The gravity-formed ‘Melt’ range uses a special technique of removing pliable material from glass molds to process it further by hand. Hot glass sheets were laid over steel pipes and suspended between steel bars to allow the glass to cascade into shape.

Breathtakingly icy, the ‘Melt’ range will be one of the coolest collections on show on the WonderGlass stand at Salone del Mobile in Milan this April. Budding ice queens take note…
wonderglass.com  nendo.jp/en

Salone del Mobile 2019 runs from 9-14 April at Fiera Milano, S.S. del Sempione 28, 20017 Rho, Milan, Italy

Poltrona Frau

There's one piece of furniture that's making us go weak at the knees right now – the credenza – and Poltrona Frau's seductive 'Fidelio' range features the most stylish one we've seen so far...

BY DEE IVA

Whisper the word 'credenza' in our ear and we're all yours. Indeed, at this year's Milan Furniture Fair it seemed the credenza was having a moment.

There's something about this piece of low slung storage that's hugely appealing. It can conceal a multitude of sins, offer a generous surface for displaying your favourite objects, and its sleek lines give it instant supermodel status. Better known as the sideboard, it has been kicking around for decades but in recent years has quietly taken centre stage again.

When it comes to cabinets, we've loved Ferruccio Laviani's faceted 'Crash' for Emmemobili, Cristian Zuzunaga's pixelated 'Dreams' for BD Barcelona Design, and Pinch Design's geometric 'Alba'. Patricia Urquiola's stained glass 'Credenza' collection also had our hearts racing when we happened upon it at Spazio Pontaccio at April's Milan Fair, but Roberto Lazzeroni's luxe 'Fidelio' cabinet is the one we had to queue up for. Having battled through velvet ropes and bouncers on Poltrona Frau's stand at 2016's Salone del Mobile, we were rewarded with the sight of Lazzeroni's lush leather-clad range of storage units. 

ABOVE: The sleek lines of Roberto Lazzeroni's 'Fidelio' credenza, from £11000
ABOVE RIGHT: Minimal slots for handles and elegant stitching are key features of the 'Fidelio' collection
BELOW: 'Fidelio Cassettiera', from £7392, a low cabinet from the 'Fidelio Notte' range of storage units

Intended for the living room, the 'Fidelio' cabinet is accompanied by 'Fidelio Notte', which consists of a low narrower cabinet, chest of drawers, tall boy and bedside cabinet handy for any room in the home, all featuring minimal styling and graphic details offset with deeply luxurious materials. Made of solid walnut, ash, maple and birch ply, each piece is finished in Cuoio saddle leather and features cutaway recessed handles and elegant stitching. There's a choice of surfaces too in this handsome and strikingly modern collection, ranging from polished Calacatta gold marble to rich Canaletto walnut. We just need to work out where to put the credenza. Tape measure please...
poltronafrau.com

BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Fidelio Comodino' chest of drawers, from £3168; 'Fidelio Settimino' tall boy storage, from £6912

Cassina

Italian design brand Cassina has got its edge back thanks to award-winning designer Patricia Urquiola whose artful direction brought drama to its new collections at this years Milan Furniture Fair... 

BY DEE IVA

Cassina's appointment of Patricia Urquiola as Art Director has breathed new life into this stalwart Italian design house. As Cassina prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2017, Urquiola is boosting the brand's reputation as a cutting-edge company with a formidable design heritage.

At April's Milan Furniture Fair, Cassina’s Milan showroom at Via Durini 16 and its stand in the Salone del Mobile were art directed by Urquiola to showcase new pieces for 2016, including sofas, chairs, tables and accessories. Inspired by Dutch De Stijl architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld’s 1955 Rietveld Pavilion, the 2016 collection was displayed like artwork in a contemporary art gallery.

German designer Konstantin Grcic took this theme to the nth degree with ‘Props’, a range of sculptural metallic surfaces that can be used as architectural sideboards and side tables. Made of 5mm-thin metal sheeting, each piece is laser cut and folded to create minimal furniture with an industrial edge.

ABOVE: Konstantin Grcic's 'Props' collection of side tables and consoles resembles a site-specific art installation
ABOVE RIGHT: Cassina's recently appointed Art Director, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola
BELOW FROM LEFT: 'Props 2'; 'Props 3' by Konstantin Grcic

ABOVE: Limited edition 'Utrecht' chair in 'BoxBlocks' fabric by Bertjan Pot

Gerrit Rietveld’s iconic ‘Utrecht’ armchair, originally designed in 1935, is one of Rietveld’s few upholstered chairs that actually went into production. Now relaunched as a limited edition in ’BoxBlocks’ fabric, a graphic geometric fabric by Dutch designer Bertjan Pot, it’s one of Cassina’s most colourful and eye-catching pieces.

Not to be outdone, Urquiola’s own ‘Gender’ armchair mixes playful colours with gentle curves to create a cocoon of soft seating with soundproofing wings. Available in five poppy colourways, the leather-clad ’Gender’ also features a tilting back, and an additional upholstered footrest.

ABOVE: 'Gender' armchair by Patricia Urquiola

The art theme was also picked up by Ron Gilad, whose ‘Deadline’ mirror collection resembles modern artworks of the 20th century. ‘Daydream’ references Rene Magritte’s cloudscapes, ‘200 Lines of Realism’ evokes the minimal linear works of Agnes Martin, while ‘Memory of a Lost Oval’ has more than a touch of Ellsworth Kelly about it.

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ron Gilad's 'Deadline' mirrors riff on 20th century art; 'Memory of a Lost Oval'; '200 Lines of Realism'; 'Daydream'
BELOW: 'ZH One' chair by Zaha Hadid

Finally, the most poignant piece on show was the cuboid ‘ZH One’ chair by the late Zaha Hadid, shown as a prototype. Hadid’s signature curves are evident in the fluid legs and cutaways in the upholstery, displayed in deep cobalt blue. When this chair goes into production it’s bound to become highly coveted as a lasting reminder of Hadid’s ability to bring her unique architectural style to small-scale furniture and accessories.
cassina.com

Osloform

Norwegian design studio Osloform's new 'Serpentine' stereo is easy on the eye, as well as the ear for switched-on music lovers...

BY DEE IVA

Osloform's minimal 'Serpentine' stereo is simply one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Comprised of two speakers and an amplifier, this sleek system is encased in luscious green or grey Valchromat (wood-fibre panels impregnated with dye and resin) with a sexy central brass volume control and perforated brass speaker covers. But its beauty is not only skin deep. Underneath the glamorous exterior the compact amplifier by high-end hi-fi boffins Bang & Olufsen easily fills the room with natural pure sound and a preamplifier with buffered line inputs allows you to connect your phone, tablet or computer. Wireless streaming is possible with the addition of Apple TV or Google Chromecast devices.

BELOW: Easy on the ear, a joy to behold: the 'Serpentine' stereo by Osloform, NOK 28,000

'Serpentine''s designers were inspired by minimalism, usability and tactile contrasts, striving to 'cultivate the essence of a stereo as both hi-fi and furniture object' (for more on the trend for technology integrated with furniture see the Bouroullec brothers' 'Serif' TV and IKEA's wireless charging lamps and tables).

ABOVE: Plug in, tune in and zone out; it's all about being well connected

It’s not what you’d expect to see in your local audio store and there’s a good reason for that. Launched in 2015, Osloform is a new Oslo-based design studio made up of four young Norwegian designers. Camilla Akersveen, Åsmund Engesland, Christopher Konings and Henrik Waarum are on a mission to bring modern Norwegian design to our attention and judging by their inaugural 'Brass & Valchromat' collection they’re definitely on the right track. Due to exhibit at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2016, we reckon they’ll be one of the highlights of the Salone.
osloform.no

Photos: Istvan Virag  istvanvirag.com

Jaime Hayon x BD Barcelona Design

Monkey see, monkey do? In the Year of the Monkey, Jaime Hayon's simian side table is what we're hankering after...

BY DEE IVA

Now that the Chinese Year of the Monkey is in full flow we thought it only right to give another shout out to Jaime Hayon’s witty 'Monkey' side table for Spanish brand BD Barcelona Design.

When we saw it at last year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan we immediately fell in love with its simplicity and cocky attitude. Made of concrete resin, the cheeky 'Monkey' table has mischief written all over it. Part of Spanish talent Hayon's second Gardenias' collection of indoor and outdoor furniture for BD Barcelona Design, it’s the most auspicious side table you can buy right now.
bdbarcelona.com

ABOVE FROM LEFT: 'Gardenias' indoor armchair, €2,151; 'Monkey' side table, €645. Available from classicdesign.it