Miniature houses imagine post-pandemic living
Salvatori presents The Village, a project featuring a series of abstract miniature houses made from the company’s natural stones by a group of designers and architects including Patricia Urquiola, Yabu Pushelberg, John Pawson and Kengo Kuma, unveiled over the course of this year.
‘Over the past year we have all had to come to terms with the space we call home, living in it with an intensity like never before,’ observes CEO Gabriele Salvatori. ‘We have looked around our home with fresh eyes, thinking how we would like to change it. And we realised that our home is a haven and as such, it has to reflect who we are and how we live.’
Each collaborator was invited to create an imaginary home, gathering what Salvatori hopes will be an eclectic mix that will show new ways of living post-pandemic, inspired both by traditional domestic spaces and ideas for the future. Designs by Patricia Urquiola and Yabu Pushelberg – the first pieces to be unveiled from the ever-growing collection – offer a glimpse into the mix of approaches to expect from the project, with two radically different pieces.
Urquiola’s contribution to the initiative comes in the form of two angular pieces: Alma, made of Rosa Portogallo marble and Petra, in Travertine. The two small homes by Urquiola feature straight lines and a play of light and shadow, and the designer’s pieces (collectively named Kore, a reference to Greek statues) are created to evoke domestic warmth and intimacy. ‘The Village is a reflection on domestic spaces, something that is more important than ever today,’ she says. ‘Home has become the centre of our lives, our town or city, our habitat. We have all become domestic navigators, trying to orient ourselves to these new latitudes, ways of living.’
On the other hand, Yabu Pushelberg’s Assembly collection (comprising three pieces, representing the individual, the community and their intersection) features compositions characterised by stacked elements and a window-like opening. The designers focused on the materials’ properties, but also looked into ‘studies of light and shadow, monumental design, tension and expansion’ while designing their pieces. ‘These forms are mysterious yet approachable, inciting limitless wonder and curiosity in the individual inhabiting their space,’ they say.
The project will culminate with an exhibition showcasing the entire collection of miniature houses later in the year. ‘During this period, there was an incredible sense of global solidarity that united us around the world,’ says Salvatori. ‘We began to understand that we are all neighbours, and our lives depend on each other.’ §