A Luis Barragan-inspired pavilion by Hermès at La Pelota housed objects of absolute precision under striking light and shadow during Milan Design Week.
April 19th, 2017
To understand the objects and furniture for the home by Hermès – and they are indeed objects to be understood (the result of an intellectual as much as a passionate and creative approach) – is to understand the heritage of Hermès.
The brand’s equestrian roots (in saddle and harness making in the 1830s) continue to permeate through its design for the home, which is lead by Deputy Artistic Directors Charlotte Macaux Perelman and Alexis Fabry under Artistic Director Pierre-Alexis Dumas.
The focus of many of the objects is leather as a form of linkage – dressing objects as it dressed the horse in the form of saddles and harnesses. More accurately, the leather is used as a means of ‘revealing’ the objects just as it formerly ‘exposed’ the body of the horse (which was previously concealed and hampered by ceremonial trappings). As lids, straps and sheathing, leather serves as a link between materials such as maple, lacquer, wicker, crystal and metal, as well as between the object and the user of the object.
The Collections for the Home 2017-2018 consist of multiple families of objects, and it is in the Lien d’Hermès collection that the focus on leather as a link is most apparent. Designed by Studio Hermès in collaboration with Guillaume Delvigne and Damian O’Sullivan, in this collection bridle leather sculpts and draws forms such as hangers a log basket, and outlines shapes such as vases and boxes. In the Équipages d’Hermès and Object of Art de Vivre collections (designed by Studio Hermès), leather sumptuously lines surfaces on a serving trolley, occasional table, writing desk and small boxes.
Other newly released objects include a trio of bamboo seats with removable leather cushions titled Karumi – designed by Alvaro Siza and shaped into extremely precise and sinuous forms by a Japanese master craftsman with a fusion of carbon fibre. Barber Osgerby also contributed with a monumental cast bronze coffee table titled Aes. Plaids, furnishing fabrics, wallpapers and a porcelain dinner set completed the presentation of objects.
“Our main highlights are precision, balance, the match between the various materials,” Alexis Fabry told us at the Hermès pavilion at La Pelota. Charlotte Macaux Perelman added, “There is a very strong link between the architecture we’ve chosen, the objects and the scene. We really wanted to strike a balance between the three things.” Similarly, the objects themselves are presented in a balanced manner with a non-hierarchical sequence. “Everything is on the same footing, be it textile, wallpaper, home object, tableware or furnishing,” said Fabry.
Macaux Perelman designed the pavilion of whitewashed brick walls, vivid red paving bricks (handmade in Italy) and over-sized timber beams that cast intense diagonal shadows over a brightly lit sequence of rooms. “We wanted a very light place with a Mediterranean atmosphere. We really wanted to create a tension – a sort of vibration – and convey the impression of light and the impression of not being in a pavilion but being in a building,” explained Macaux Perelman.
From the form and detail of each object to the form and atmosphere of the pavilion, the presentation conveyed absolute precision. One would expect nothing less of Hermès.
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