Achille Salvagni has united once again with Benoist F Drut of Maison Gerard on a new project, this time shifting the focus to Salvagni’s expansion in the US. A vast new gallery on Madison Avenue, New York, is a work of collaboration between the two, and an elegant showcase for Achille Salvagni Atelier’s works.
Achille Salvagni New York showroom: a search for excellence and love for tradition
The 4,000 square-foot space encompasses the exquisite juxtaposition of materials Salvagni champions in his work, with pieces in bronze and precious stones making a sumptuous foil for warm-hued textiles and striking lighting. The space features new pieces, such as a new edition of the ‘Spider’ chandelier in pink and green, alongside more coveted works, with the ‘Spider Maximus’ in red and a pair of ‘Tutankhamun’ armchairs sitting alongside rare works by Gio Ponti, Fontana Arte, and Jacques Adnet.
For Drut, the partnership was a natural one, with his patronage of French art deco an organic accompaniment to meeting Salvagni’s celebration of traditional techniques to create wholly modern pieces. ‘We have a great appreciation for each other – it’s always a fit,’ Drut says of their rich collaboration history.
Maison Gerard, instrumental in introducing Salvagni to the American market in 2013, built on this experience and their ensuing close partnership over a decade as well as Salvagni’s creation of his London flagship in 2015. ‘When he actually decided to open in Mayfair in London, I was puzzled,’ Drut says, but adds. ‘It was a treat and it turned out to be a really smart move on his part.’
This trust made possible the New York venture, which sees a rare and exquisite craftsmanship take centre stage in a space defined by sweeping lines, high ceilings and panelling crafted in Italy.
Details are carefully considered: in the client presentation room sits an oversized round table designed by Gio Ponti, with a Fontana Arte glass globe featuring the zodiac signs, originally presented at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris to represent Italy. An art deco-style bar cabinet inspired by the Maharaja of Indore’s cigarette case nods to Maison Gerard’s emphasis on authenticity in the adjoining room.
‘We share the same search for excellence or quality and the same love for tradition,’ Drut adds. ‘We always use the best craftsmen and make sure that those who know are not lost.’ Ultimately, Drut was keen to create a comfortable atmosphere for visitors. ‘Whenever I walk through to create a room, it’s a room that somebody can live in. And so the idea here is that you have, you know, little vignettes, and hopefully one can feel like it could be home or they can imagine that vignette in their own home.’
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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.
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