Ionic order: David Chipperfield’s architecture-inspired cabinets
With their fluted bronze upright columns and ribbed glass panels, David Chipperfield’s new series of cabinets and consoles for David Gill Gallery are a microcosm of the British architect’s larger architectural vision – full of orthogonal geometry and restraint.
The pieces, collectively titled ’Ionic’, a reference to their classical columns, were designed with the collector in mind and made using materials that were carefully selected for their unique architectural heritage – bronze skeletons support blackened steel trays fronted by strengthened ribbed glass.
Of course Chipperfield, who also holds the position of artistic director at Driade, is no stranger to furniture design, having previously realised pieces for e15, Cassina and B&B Italia as well as lighting for Artemide and Wästberg. However, this latest capsule of work marks the architect’s first time working with a gallery.
’David Gill encouraged me to think to create furniture outside of the normal commercial criteria – the furniture industry is interested in methods of production that are economical and where pieces sit within the marketplace – be that a sofa or a coffee table,’ explains Chipperfield. ’With David Gill, we were able to operate outside the conventional commercial furniture system – its was strange and yet very interesting.
’I still wanted to make a utilitarian object but didn’t see utility as its primary concern – or the economy of means. I didn’t have to worry about how it was made, just to make something beautiful out of beautiful materials, such as casting and bronze; things that normally lie beyond the possibilities of the commercial process and invest the object with a strong physical presence.’