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Missoni Store
Patrick Kinmonth (concept), Space Architects (collaborative architects)
Los Angeles, 2010
Facade composed of a steel framework with bands of matte white powder-coated aluminum


The Missoni flagship store in Los Angeles looks like a curious inhabitable object at the corner of the famous shopping routes of Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. Marzorati Ronchetti has produced and installed the unusual, expressive facade solution, which in the intentions of the designers symbolizes and narrates the values of the productive tradition of Missoni. In effect, the complex pattern of strips of aluminium, with an irregular undulating shape, positioned horizontally, reminds us of the weave of woolen yarns in the famous knitwear products by Missoni, though in this sort of “architectural translation” the threads are purged of their refined chromatic mélange and become an iconic pattern in absolute white. The powder-coated aluminium strips (10 cm in height, 8 mm thick, in lengths varying from 50 cm to 7 m) are overlapped and supported, imitating the weave of yarns on a loom, on a concealed steel structure. The regular parallelepiped of the store is completely covered by the resulting weave, which is also clearly visible from inside. The architectural skin is interrupted and sculptured by the opening for the recessed entrance door and those of the shop windows, which unite the retail space with the scene on the street. Inside, daylight filters through the facade pattern, generating striking effects of light and shadow, while at night the gaps between the horizontal bands come alive with light from the interior, making the monolith into a porous, sparkling, light and lively form.


Chiosco polifunzionale e pensilina ATM
Antonio Citterio & Partners
Milano, 1999
Painted steel


The project by Antonio Citterio & Partners for the multifunctional kiosk and shelter of ATM in the center of Milan remains one of the few examples of reference for the definition of a model of “urban furniture” conceived as an architectural practice in relation to the places and spaces of intervention, rather than a catalogue of objects to be indiscriminately utilized. Citterio approaches the situation with the sensibilities of an architect, paying attention to the recognizability of the place and its proportions, its history and the surrounding monumental context. Instead of creating a “macro-object” to repeat in multiple situations, he finds a solution that is able to combine modernity and tradition while avoiding the stylistic pitfalls of revivals seen in much of the urban equipment installed in historical centers, with their open accent on nostalgia. The painted steel structure is placed at the center of the urban space, facing the streetcar tracks. The essential oval multifunctional kiosk for the ATM staff is organized under the large canopy, supported by a system of central pillars from which the cantilevered supports of the panes of etched glass branch out in a dense geometric design. The sum of the two parts of the project, distinct yet both components of a unified system, provides a solution of great elegance and modernity that establishes a link with historical typologies without imitating their figures and decorative motifs. The attention to detail and proportions, based on Citterio’s experience as an industrial designer, is shifted to a large scale in a project Marzorati Ronchetti has produced with great precision. A work that makes a valid contribution to the quality of the urban landscape in the his torical city.


De Beers Store
Antonio Citterio & Partners
Los Angeles, 2005
Smooth and hammered stainless steel, etched glass


“The capacity of the diamond to generate extraordinary effects of light and the purely abstract nature of its material were the guiding elements behind the project.” This is how Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel explain this small, sparkling work of architecture set down in the sprawl of the “City of Angels.” A corner building that reworks in its image from the street the wealth and luminosity of the jewelry displayed inside, obviously without straying in the direction of “pop” architecture. The linear facade, with three steel floor marker bands, is composed of a complex and effective “double-skin” system that superimposes glass etched with perpendicular lines that create a sort of “woven effect,” as in the earlier flagship store in London, over sheets of hammered stainless steel. All this is marked by the steel grid formed by the mirror-finish metal posts that conceal a sophisticated optical fiber system for nocturnal lighting. The effect is that of a building that exploits the bright sunlight of the city, playing with the variation of its reflection across the hours of the day. A sort of “architectural diamond” with a basic geometric design, capable of communicating the value of its content with the sign of its image alone. The geometric pattern of reference also extends to the roof, with a large skylight framed by hammered steel to capture zenithal light and offer a glimpse of a patch of blue sky.


De Beers Store
Antonio Citterio & Partners
Londra, 2002
Bronze, steel, wood and glass


The De Beers jewelry store opened on Old Bond Street in London is the first flagship store of the new overall image developed by Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel for the famous brand De Beers, founded in South Africa in 1888. The display of jewelry and diamonds is the guiding theme of the whole project, also approached in architectural terms, emphasizing the effects of light specific to glass and the abstract character of crystal. Glass, etched with perpendicular lines to form a woven effect, or completely transparent in continuous full-height panes or smaller sizes to create essential display cases, is the material deployed to develop the entire spatial wrapper in a sequence of overlaid layers capable of conveying the sensation of a unified environment, while also forming individual rooms along the store itinerary. The light ricochets through the various spaces that guarantee the desired levels of privacy for customers, enhancing the sparkle of the jewelry on display. The lightness of the glass parts forms a balance with the solidity and compact character of the finishing materials like ebony and stone. Ebony is also used for the linear boiseries and the custom furnishings. In this poised design of “contemporary luxury,” far from any sense of stylistic revival, Marzorati Ronchetti has proven its ability for versatile control of quality and workmanship in the various features and materials involved in the definition of the space, combining all the metal components (lamps and tops in bronze, frames and details in steel) with other types of workmanship required for the complete configuration of the overall image.


Design Museum di Holon
Ron Arad Associates
Holon, 2010
Oxidized Cor-ten treated with colored metal pigment oil


Design Museum Holon is part of a larger cultural development program of the city, destined to become Israel’s point of reference for research and education.This is the first museum of design in the country, a facility that sets out to approach the impact of design culture in relation to urban design and everyday life, while also providing a flexible space for the organization of cultural events, performances and exhibitions. The spatial layout features two large unaligned galleries on two levels, offering over 2000 square meters of exhibition space. The programmed rationality and planimetric simplicity of the two museum galleries is countered by the complexity of the exterior solution, seen on the facade in a layering of five Cor-Ten bands deployed to form a continuous architectural ribbon that winds through the galleries and wraps the entire structure in a spiral, erasing any ranking of the facades and transforming the museum into a large sculptural landmark. The ribbons are over one kilometer in length and weigh 200 tons, with chromatic shading that starts from the base, with a darker band, and then shifts to lighter tones thanks to the treatment of the metal surface with a colored metal pigment oil finish. The acrobatics of the sculptural ribbon are inserted in the architectural volume, passing below the gallery on the first floor to create a large entrance portico. From here the Cor-Ten rises between the two off-axis volumes to create a suspended courtyard.


DuoMo Hotel
Ron Arad Associates
Rimini, 2006
Polished stainless steel, bronze, glossy painted carbon steel


“I don’t want to make people feel at home, because they are not at home.” This is how Ron Arad summed up the project for the duoMo hotel in Rimini. The “emotional factor” plays an important role in the design of the hospitality spaces, the overall image and the street frontage, with a bronze stringcourse interrupted by small chromium-plated pillars, of this design hotel located in the center of the capital of the Romagna Riviera. The work done by Marzorati Ronchetti focused on the large bar on the ground floor, where once inside the large bright red double door marked by a central porthole, guests find themselves in a space where the careful use of materials (bronze and polished steel) is combined in an expressive way with the overall design choices. Bronze covers and forms the large counter at the center, creating an equipped island that surrounds the pillars clad in mirror polished stainless steel, creating bends and becoming the reference point of the whole space. The sheets of the same material that form the slats of the suspended ceiling descend seamlessly to cover the walls that become seats, furnishings that are part of the architecture, not detached from it. A total environment where metal is the protagonist, in the finest tradition of interior architecture, revitalized in this project by Ron Arad in a contemporary, futuristic way.


Tod’s Group Headquarters
Ron Arad Associates
Civitanova Marche, 1998
Mirror-polished stainless steel


The need to connect two levels in the lobby of the headquarters of the Tod’s footwear manufacturer of Diego Della Valle becomes an opportunity for Ron Arad to imagine a large “functional sculpture”: a steel staircase conceived as a surprising organic form grafted onto the architecture, a large linear “seashell” that seems to be about to close, becoming a reflecting monolith. From the ground floor the centrally positioned staircase, in perfect balance with the host space, appears as a steel wave for ascent, protected by a feature in the same material that functions as a suspended cover, generating the overall figure composed of two complementary parts. At the first landing the two parts meet with the same intensity, offering an enveloping form that from the steps concealed in the wave below flanks the effective cantilevered upper element. Marzorati Ronchetti has produced the entire object, engineering every detail and handling every phase of the project, from assembly to installation.


Marni store
Sybarite
Londra, Sloane Street, 2003
Mirror-finish stainless steel, glass


The compositional grammar developed by Future Systems for the Marni boutiques is reprised and explored by the English studio Sybarite, formed by several collaborators of Jan Kaplicky who had worked with him on the first flagship stores of the brand. The idea of fluid geometry and a “total environment” based on an internal enclosure, display systems and the use of materials and colours, is pursued with conviction and perfected by Sybarite in an overall compositional effort. In the London shop on Sloane Street the stainless steel display system floats in space like an insect that extends in the two available levels, underscoring the sculptural dimension and the vivid use of reflecting metal in the seamless transformation of the sinuous tube of reference into counters, shelves and display bases. The plastic impact of the display system is reinforced by the shape of the wall enclosure, partially treated with glossy white resin, the metal staircase enclosed in a rounded opening made in the surface on which it rests, the curved divan in the fitting area, the indirect lights in amoeba-like compartments that interrupt the bright red ceiling, a color that returns along the internal staircase, and in the Marni trademark attached to the wall. For the boutique in Los Angeles, seen in a perspective view through the shop window with its steel border, the materic palette veers towards softer colours and pale wood flooring, in a unified space where the almost “botanical” design of the display system, again in reflecting steel, also featuring small multilevel display tables with a stylized floral figure, floats freely in a guise of total lightness.


Marni store
Sybarite
Londra, Selfridges, 2003


Marni store
Sybarite
Los Angeles, 2004


New Look flagship store
Future Systems
Londra, Oxford Street – Portman Street,2003
Mirror-finish stainless steel, spheres of frosted glass


In London, at the corner of Oxford and Portman Streets, in the heart of the exclusive central shopping district, the flagship store of the New Look chain might seem out of place with respect to the target audience of the nearby high-end boutiques. To make it more captivating and, in a certain sense, clearly visible in terms of brand communication translated on an architectural scale, the studio Future Systems has approached the design of the store (organized only on the first level of the building) by working on the corner entrance, marked by a central pillar and bordered by the space of two shop windows, perpendicular to each other. The idea was to free up all the available space and to construct a monumental staircase that would become a sort of landmark, a feature of attraction to bring customers to the retail space on the first floor. The stainless steel staircase incorporates the structural pillar and opens conically towards the entrance, then tapering as it rises and connecting to a balustrade in the same material overlooking the space below. Shiny and reflecting, with rounded, pronounced forms to create a recognizable, unmistakable volume, the large staircase has steps and a landing composed of thousands of brushed glass spheres set into resin. The effect is like a snowfall, soft, light, in contrast with the stainless steel of the structure that contains it.


Asticus Building
LDS Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
21 Palmer Street, Londra, 2006
Mirror-finish stainless steel and black glass


A project for the lobby of an office building in London, which draws inspiration and allusions from the installation “20:50” made by the artist Richard Wilson in 1987 at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. Wilson’s idea was to create a route in a trench bordered by sheets of raw metal, cutting through a raised plane covered by black reflecting glass extending over the entire area of the room. The reflection generated a sort of deep, mysterious mirroring, balanced between solid and liquid, capable of altering the perception and the sense of the space. The artistic tension of Wilson’s installation reappears, translated into the dimension of macro-furnishings, in the large sculptural piece of the reception counter, which like a sinuous reflecting island with a top on two levels reprises the black reflecting glass for the horizontal surfaces, while the whole perimeter of the vertical volumes has been designed in shiny steel. Two recessed shutters virtually separate the base of the large counter from the floor, and that of the smaller volume from the one below. The perfect crafting of the mirror-finish steel surface, without any signs of joining, makes it possible to absorb, dilate and distort the image of the surrounding space, the different tones of light throughout the day and the flow of visitors, making the reception counter a point of reference on a compositional and dynamic level.


Marni Store
Sybarite
Milano, via Spiga, 50, 2005


The British Museum / Great Court
Lord Norman Foster & Partners
Londra, 2000 - 2006
Shot-peened stainless steel, black waxed sheet metal and etched back-painted glass, bronze and crystal


Foster & Partners has developed the large project for the transparent roof of the central Great Court, transforming an important space not utilized by the city into a place of gathering and access to the Museum, with all its thematic and layout complexity. Alongside the architectural design, Foster & Partners has also created the image of certain furnishings, reception counters and information desks, visual and acoustic signage, features that become part of the overall design while emerging discreetly from the setting of the historic building as linear, contemporary signs. Marzorati Ronchetti has produced the custom furnishings created by the renowned British design studio, setting a precedent as the only company to have inserted a curved reception counter (black waxed sheet metal with panes of white back-painted glass) in the restored historic circular Reading Room, where no contemporary furnishings are allowed. Another large circular reception counter (shotpeened stainless steel with white back-painted glass panels) is positioned as a fulcrum of reference in the Great Court, together with the linear, precise information system of the Museum, composed of totems and self-supporting framed panels. Marzorati Ronchetti has also produced light railings to protect sculptures, an “Explaining Desk” in bronze and, in the same material combined with curved panes of glass, a curious exhaust cylinder at the entrance, activated by a pneumatic mechanism on the entire circular border, for the contributions of visitors to support the activities of the Museum.


Casa Privata
Fabio Trentin
Milano,1995


Private House
Studio Cerri & Associati
Segrate (Milano)2001
Mirror-finish stainless steel


The design of the interiors of a private house for a collector of exceptional modern artworks was approached by Pierluigi Cerri as a challenge to combine the dimension and comfort of domestic spaces with the need to bring out the best in the art collection in terms of visibility and enjoyment. One of the spaces of the house has been connected to the area below it by means of a large opening made in the floor slab, linking the two zones on two levels in a single environment and creating a light, linear balcony with a tempered glass balustrade, free of support structures. Inside the rectangular opening in the slab, with large circular skylights above it to bring daylight into the house, a spiral staircase made by Marzorati Ronchetti connects the levels. It is designed as an essential mirror-finish steel sculpture around a central pillar of the same material, creating an effective play of reflections and anamorphic deformations that capture the images of the artworks around it.

Casa Privata
Antonio Citterio & Partners
Lecce, 2004


Biblioteca Santi Elena e Costantino
Studio Italo Rota & Partners
Palermo, 2007
Mirror-finish stainless steel, painted carbon steel


The project of reutilization and reinvention of the space has been done by Italo Rota, who with his studio approached the difficult question of operating inside this historic architectural context, interpreting the space as a setting in which to insert new figures of reference. While maintaining the structure, materials and decorations of the former oratory intact, the project creates a forceful relationship of contrast and counterpoint, emphasizing atmosphere and spatial tensions, working on the vertical dimension to create an interior landscape made of reflections, echoes and colors, without concealing the original environment. In the entrance hall with its lateral chapels, flooring in white and black marble, wooden roof trusses and a suspended wooden pulpit with painted decorations, the project has focused on the central part, intentionally keeping its distance from the architectural perimeter. A sort of “artificial grove” is formed by nine vertical mushroom structures in mirror-finish stainless steel, concluding in large white disks that reflect the light, indirectly spreading it into the entire oratory. Marzorati Ronchetti, together with the reflecting vertical technological elements that contain the lighting system, has produced the custom colored steel bookcase, another figurative features deployed to activate a relationship between the old and the new, in a single compositional synthesis that indicates innovative paths and possibilities for the delicate practice of construction inside historical monuments.


Per Se Restaurant
Tihany Design
New York, 2004
Etched bronze with wax finish, milled bronze sheet, mirror-finish shot-peened stainless steel


Located in the vicinity of Columbus Circle and facing Central Park in New York, the Per Se restaurant offers Manhattan the cuisine of the renowned Californian chef Thomas Keller and his famous venue The French Laundry in Yountville. Adam Tihany, an expert architect in the field of restaurant interiors because he is not only a capable designer but also a refined gourmet, has created an environment that combines tradition and contemporary style, figurative memory and materic experimentation. While the seating references the classic, elegant restaurants of bygone days with its reassuring wooden image, with upholstered portions and Viennese cane sides, a tone echoed by the large carpeted area of part of the dining room, a floor in bronze, milled in segments to resemble tiles, is joined by ceiling beams in the same material, combined with the use of mirror-finish stainless steel (for the serving station and Geridon). A suspended glass display case floats in the space, beside a matte steel frame reprising the design of the geometric railing that marks the level shift that adds movement to the dining room.


30 St Mary Axe
Arredi per la hall
Foster & Partners
Londra, 2004
Stainless steel and glass


A work by the office of Norman Foster & Partners, the office tower 30 St Mary Axe, more commonly known as “the Gherkin,” stands out as a unique icon of the new millennium on the London City skyline. This unusual skyscraper with its vivid sculptural form won the prestigious Riba Stirling Prize that same year, selected unanimously by the jury (the first time in the annals of the prize). Besides appearing in the cityscape as a new landmark, the building designed by Foster & Partners uses innovative energy performance features, representing one of the first examples in the world of an ecosustainable skyscraper. Substantial design devices make it possible to reduce energy use by about 50%, thanks to interspace on each level with six conduits for natural ventilation. The conduits remove warm air from the building in the summer, to cool the spaces, while in the winter a passive solar heating system guarantees suitable temperatures. For this outstanding contemporary building Marzorati Ronchetti has produced the reception counters and the security gates at the entrance, based on designs by Foster & Partners. Made in stainless steel and glass, the long counters form the perimeter of the internal partitions, creating two dark reflecting surfaces with a double steel top, positioned in zones for information points and reception of visitors.


New Opera House
Ron Arad Associates
Tel Aviv, 1994
Painted and etched steel, bronze tubes ø 1.5 cm


The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Israel, designed by the architect Ya’akov Rechter, also set out to become a major center in the urban fabric, in an area also marked by the presence of a library, office buildings, a museum and the Ministry of Defense. The theater foyer thus became a sort of symbolic space, a place, first of all, rather than a zone of transit, capable of communicating in three-dimensional terms the importance of an innovative public space of great appeal. Among a range of international designers, Ron Arad was selected to give an image to the entrance lobby, seen as an “environmental hinge” between the city and the concert hall, an extroverted foyer that would welcome visitors, encouraging them to socialize during intermissions; a “social space” in which the city’s cultural elite can meet, discuss and participate in public life in a way that is informal, but one no less meaningful than that of more “official” occasions. At a time when Cad 3D design was still in its early phases, the dizzying compositional geometry invented by Arad for this prestigious interior was drawn by hand in the Marzorati Ronchetti plant in Cantù and then produced, in three-dimensional form, with walls of variable shape that are transformed into continuous benches and shelves, built with bronze tubing supported by burnished steel posts. This complex “architectural skin” is also used to cover several central pillars.


Boutique Emanuel Ungaro
Antonio Citterio & Partners
New York, Roma, Londra, Grenelle, 1999-2000


Y’s Store
Ron Arad Associates
Tokyo, Rappongi, 2003
Powder-coated aluminum


For his prêt-à-porter line “Y’s”, the famous Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto commissioned the studio of Ron Arad to create the flagship store of the new retail chain. Arad’s idea was to use the available space for a single large zone, without external signs, covering the pillars to transform them into functional, appealing figures, conveying the image of a space of lightness and movement. The same material and detailing solution have been used to cover the four pillars of the space, but here the bands bend and wind around the structural members to create a series of “abstract trees” that become counters along their trunks, display fixtures and figures of reference whose boughs bear “precious fruit” that constantly changes: namely the various collections. The fluid, striking figure of the four display pivots, produced by Marzorati Ronchetti together with the complementary counter, is underlined by their rotating mechanical movement thanks to electronic motors hidden inside the overlaid metal rings. Their speed varies at different times of day and for different display needs: very fast at night, very slow in the morning, adapting to the functional needs of the store and its image, offered to its audience 24 hours a day.


Giuliani Headquarters
Croci Marcaccio Architetti,
Milano, 2005
Polished stainless steel


The idea of thinking about furnishings in architectural terms, of making furniture design a component of the architectural project to the point of making it a tool capable of conveying a wider-ranging, more programmatic idea of space, belongs to the history of Italian design and the culture of space in our country, ever since the Renaissance. For the entrance to an office building in Milan, a small space beside a vehicle entrance, the architects set out to resolve the functions of reception and control of pedestrian and vehicle access with a large mirror-finish steel counter, conforming to the compact size of the architectural space while representing the image of the company in a dynamic, contemporary way. The reception counter bends to form an irregular U shape, offering a top of different depths and a desk surface at a lower level on the inner side. The reflecting monolith is virtually detached, not making contact with the marble floor, to create a balanced separation that enhances the compositional solution and the overall volume. The fine workmanship of the joints and the perfect unity of the results contribute to bring out the value of the outer reflecting surface that amplifies and alters the image of the surrounding environment.


Policromi
Marco Zanuso Jr.
Parigi, La Galerie Italienne, 2006
Laser-cut sheet metal, press-formed, welded and gloss painted in a range of colors

The limited edition of “Policromi” produced by Galerie Italienne and made by Marzorati Ronchetti is a family of objects and furnishings with bright colors, including tables and chairs, stools, seating and small tables, and a curious candy dish with the ancestral form of a folded paper boat, a universal childhood pastime. The idea behind the collection, in fact, is based on “folded paper” and the Japanese art of origami, replacing the paper with sheet steel. Every piece in the series “is conceived a bit like a work of origami … You start with steel sheets; they are etched or cut by laser, then shaped and welded. The various pieces are designed with a particular geometry that creates a mutable perception effect: looking at the objects from different positions, their weight and form seem to change, creating an image that is always different.” (M. Zanuso) This effect of disorientation and changing appearance of the object is also the result of the lively, almost fauve coloring, a contemporary reinterpretation of certain Futurist pieces, “breaking up” the geometric forms while underlining their shifts and overall volumes. The careful crafting of each single piece is joined by the perfect painting of the parts that conceals the essence of the steel material under intense colors that remind us of a Harlequin mask.


Circo di Lune
Monica Guggisberg e Philip Baldwin,
Venini, Murano, 2003
Acid-etched steel with spheres of blown Murano glass

The artists Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg (born, respectively, in New York and Bern) have worked with Murano glass, exploring the materic and expressive qualities of the material, its possible uses and techniques of workmanship. The limited-edition sculpture series “Circo di Lune” is like a small “expressive wall,” measuring 1.5 meters in length, 45 cm in height and about 15 cm in depth, that combines spheres of colored blown glass with metal material in an intriguing materic and chromatic contrast. The metal racks become the supporting “frames” to contain rows of colored spheres, crossed by sinuous vertical posts. The artists worked inside the company, side by side with the staff, choosing the positions of the spheres and varying their size and color, perfecting the shape of the posts and their orientation, transforming the Marzorati Ronchetti workshops into a sort of impromptu art atelier, bearing witness to the versatility and openness to direct experimentation of the company and its human resources.


Alessi Tower
Future Systems
Venezia, Biennale d'Arte, 2002
Internal structure in laser-shaped iron disks, outer structure in stainless steel plates


“Next” was the title of the 8th Architecture Biennial in Venice, directed by Deyan Sudjic. The exhibition set out to answer the question of what the architecture of the future will be like. Residences and Museums, Work and Commerce, Entertainment and Interchange, Training, Church and State were the main themes of reference, joined by the exhibition “City of Towers”, in collaboration with Alessi, which gathered models of futuristic skyscrapers (spectacular mock-ups on a scale of 1:100) created by some of the most outstanding architects on the international scene. One year after the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September, the exhibition underlined on a symbolic level the renewed interest in the vertical growth of the cities of the world, and the role of the skyscraper as one of the representative tools of modernity. Among the various models, that of the English studio Future Systems was assigned to Marzorati Ronchetti, which manufactured the steel structure. The model had a fluid, abstract form, an inclined monolith anchored to the ground by an extension of the section of the trunk with its variable elliptical shape. A large opening at the top of the tower provided a forceful, self-referential iconic feature.


Spun (Coriolis)
Thomas Heatherwick
Haunch of Venison Gallery, London, 2011
Carbon steel and bronzed brass


The Spun (Coriolis) chair, commissioned to Marzorati Ronchetti by the Haunch of Venison Gallery, produced in an initial plastic version by the company Magis, was presented during the event “Interni Mutant Architecture & Design” organized by the magazine Interni for the FuoriSalone 2011. Based on the “Coriolis effect” (named for the French physicist who in 1835 described the apparent deformation of an object when it is observed in a rotating reference frame, with respect to an inertial system of reference), the chair has been made by hand by Marzorati Ronchetti, in four experimental finishes that bring out the expressive impact of the metal. It has a horizontal rippled effect on its surface, underlining the rotation movement. The border and foot are clad in leather to attenuate friction and the noise of contact with the floor. Each chair is composed of six metal rotations, welded and polished to create a uniform surface In this chair Heatherwick plays with the idea of a static sculpture that becomes a playful design object, filled with that “skillful play” that would have appealed to Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. In a vertical position Spun (Coriolis) looks like a sparkling sculptural vase; only when it is inclined does it reveal the multiple opportunities generated by its form, allowing the seated person to spin in a circular motion.


Rocker Chair
Ron Arad Associates
Triennale di Milano, 2005


Giant Rock
Arick Levy
Università Stale di Milano, 2008
Mirror-polished steel

Presented for the first time in Milan during the event “Interni Green Energy Design,” the Rock Giant “environmental sculpture” by the designer Arik Levy (born in 1963) is a meeting point between the natural and the artificial, a sort of horizontal or vertical mirror-menhir that reflects the surrounding landscape, becoming an iconic, monolithic presence. The Rock series has been produced on different scales (two were featured at the event of Interni magazine). Levy explains: “In large outdoor spaces [these metal rocks] seem like the products of an advanced civilization. In an interior, they seem to come from a nature that is more familiar to us. The reflection of historic architecture on the steel rocks also creates a visual link between past and future”. In the Court of Honor of the State University of Milan, the reflecting prisms absorbed the classical architecture of the building on their surface, breaking up the image with the steel facets of their formal solution. Positioned in a forest or a garden, Rock Giant becomes a feature that “appears and disappears,” reflecting visitors and the environment. A sort of magical macro-object, a steel meteorite that simultaneously represents the uniqueness and serial character of the everyday world, defined on a symbolic level by the facets of its surface.


Stand By / Scultura Luminosa
Aqua Creations – Ayala and Albi Serfaty
Valencia, 2002
Polished stainless steel and silk


Stand By is the name of a large chandelier conceived as a permanent installation across the two levels of the large architectural space of the Oceanogràfic complex in Valencia designed by Santiago Calatrava. At the center of the pavilion with its repeated vaults, the large system of lights is like a tribute to the underwater world, its animals and plants. The cascade of disks of silk organized on a radial stainless steel structure 13 meters in diameter resembles a swarm of innocuous jellyfish, but also a colourful marine plant on a gigantic scale. The structure, of great visual lightness, seems to float suspended in the space; the flexing effect of the arms on which the individual lights covered with silk are attached has been tested by means of complex static calculations. The central trunk, the heart of the installation from which the slender steel rods of the system of lights emerge and intersect, is like a rounded, oblong kernel, tapered at the ends to form two points connected to the main cables that hold the entire complex structure in tension.


Ribbon, Hilton Park Line Hotel
United Designers Europe
Londra, 2006
Polished brass and etched brass


Presented while still in the development phase at the Milan Triennale during the Fuorisalone 2006, the large ribbon sculpture now hangs at the center of the restaurant of the Hilton Park Lane in London, where it stands out as a visual fulcrum of reference, suspended from the ceiling. Made with two ribbons of brass with different finishes (polished and etched) that embrace each other in an apparently random way, the Ribbon stretches for 13 meters in length, sparkling in the space and bringing out the properties of the material used. Inventing a sort of new typology, the chandelier for indirect horizontal lighting, Ribbon is composed of two long bands of brass, with a thickness of 3 mm and a width of 45 cm, that intertwine in a sculptural form, framed by a large niche created in the suspended ceiling, with indirect light spreading from the entire perimeter. The light bounces off the sculpture, which becomes a refraction device of variable geometry, producing different, mutable reflections triggered by the bends and shape of the overall body. The glow of the polished brass is joined by the more muted shading of the etched finish. A hybrid object, between an art installation and a lighting fixture, evidence of the great care applied in manufacture and finishing by Marzorati Ronchetti, on every scale, in every project.


Acquae
Future System
Triennale di Milano
Biennale di Venezia, 2004
Polished stainless steel


The “Acquae” installation was created for the event “Dining Street Design” organized by the magazine Interni at the Milan Triennale during the Fuorisalone in 2004. The event showcased the encounter between architectural culture and design with the world of nutrition, an increasing focus in terms of modes and consumption in the “design system” as a whole. The installations in the exhibition set out to offer new figurative and design scenarios for the construction of a series of experimental street kiosks for the consumption of foods and beverages. “Acquae”, in partnership with San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, was like a large drop of steel, perforated by cylinder-containers for bottles, with a sink compartment for ice at the end: a hypothesis for an improbable but seductive outdoor urban point of sale and consumption of bottled mineral water. “Acquae” is a display sculpture, 9 meters long and 5 meters wide, formed by an internal structure of iron sheet (thickness 20/10, cut by laser), with interlocking tines, welded to create a shaped grid painted in black. The structure is hidden inside a large outer shell composed of segments of stainless steel sheet, welded together with a time-consuming, skillful manual procedure evident in the buffed areas left exposed in an intermediate phase. On the upper side of this steel skin the cylindrical housings for the bottles are positioned perpendicularly, contributing to emphasize the reflections of light and to form the covering of the display-sculpture, which was also shown at the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale, in the Venice Pavilion.


Open Secret
Sir  Anthony  Caro
Londra, Ivory Press, 2003
Polished stainless steel, bronze and brass

A metal sculpture by the artist Anthony Caro, like a precious, symbolic book. This work created in close collaboration with Marzorati Ronchetti links back to the idea of the book as an age-old object, of reading as a process of knowledge and a human activity necessary for every civilization (“reading means approaching something that is just coming into being,” Italo Calvino wrote). The work of shaping, defining and modifying the “pages” and the whole volume was done in the artist’s studio in London, evaluating different alternatives to achieve the final result. A specially designed and manufactured mechanism hidden inside the sculpture makes it possible to effortlessly open to metal page, offering the sensation of leafing through paper pages thanks to a system of gears and micro-jacks that absorb the real, sizeable weight of part of the sculpture. The work is a limited edition. Each piece has been built and finished by hand, giving the metals a striking materic patina that enhances the overall volume of each piece and the sculptural shape of its forms.


The 70’. Il decennio lungo del secolo breve
Studio Italo Rota & Partners
Triennale di Milano, 2007
Black waxed sheet metal


Organized at the Milan Triennale in the fall of 2007, the exhibition on the 1970s (the long decade of the short century) curated by Gianni Canova, with exhibit design by Mario Bellini, was set up “as a labyrinthine path through one of the richest, most complex and contradictory periods of our recent history. Without nostalgia, but also without the driving urge to liquidate. Instead, the show attempts to offer even very young visitors a chance to openly reflect, in perspective, on those years seen from our present day.” In the exhibition a series of installations retraced the decade in question through references to key words (travel, body, conflict, demonstration, etc.) or to emblematic figures (Aldo Moro, Pierpaolo Pasolini), in an attempt to create a figurative and thematic “mosaic” capable of reconstructing dramatic events and passions, fashions and phenomena of the “long decade of the short century.” The installation by Italo Rota, produced by Marzorati Ronchetti, was a sort of symbolic partition made with black waxed sheet metal. With an L-shaped form, this self-supporting piece had the stylized figures of a man and a woman at its ends (cut by laser in the metal), the points of reference of a “narrative” translated in four revolving cylinders contained in the metal structure. A narrative in episodes of the time, on the famous Italy-Germany soccer match (4 to 3), the birth and spread of synthetic drugs, the anthropomorphic and esoteric image of Machu Picchu seen from above, New Age philosophy and the theme of the “trip.”


Good N.E.W.S.
Stanza delle Origini
Studio Italo Rota & Partners
Triennale di Milano, 2006
Reflecting and brushed stainless steel


The “Room of origins” (or also the “House of Adam”) is an installation produced by Marzorati Ronchetti and designed by Italo Rota for the exhibition on the major themes of architecture, past and present, organized by Rota with Fulvio Irace at the Milan Triennale. The “Room of origins” approached the theme of the roots of architecture in the relationship between man and inhabitable space. The form of the tent, shiny and reflecting on the outside, matte on the inside, is a reminder of the first shelter for nomadic man, while at the same time the pattern tattooed on the entire surface, by laser, of the frontispiece of the 18th-century treatise by the abbé Marc-Antoine Laugier on the origin of architecture from nature (1753), with the birth of the myth of the “primitive hut” as the figurative root of the architectural orders, harks back to the basic theme of every constructed project. Finally, the “textile” construction of the single steel panels, specially curved to produce an effect of soft yielding, leads back to the lesson of Gottfried Semper on the theme of the art of weaving and the architectural skin.


Sardine Box
Giombini Kind
Index fair Dubai, 2005
Acid-etched iron with iridescent effect, mirror-finish stainless steel, glossy black paint

The sardine is the fish that perhaps best represents, on a symbolic level and in traditional cuisine, the nutritional value of one of the basic foods of the Mediterranean regions. The idea of making the sardine an icon of reference for the Marzorati Ronchetti stand at the Index Fair in Dubai, and of using its stylized form to offer examples of the company’s metalworking prowess, plays with the contrast between the humble folk-culture image of the fish and the “luxury” of metal objects with different finishes, like acid-etched iron with green and violet iridescent tones, mirror-finish stainless steel and glossy black painted metal. Michelangelo Giombini designed the Marzorati Ronchetti stand by lining up nine large sardines transformed into tables with a mutable image, almost essential graphic signs, to demonstrate the company’s fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. In this sort of “can of sardines” open to the public and organized in inhabitable form, the nine tables attached to the floor, with mirror-finish stainless steel tops, supports in the same material and bodies coated with glossy black paint displayed the heads of the fish, corresponding to the ends of each table, treated with different iridescent finishes to offer a catalogue of possible techniques and a necessary diversity in unity to convey the range of personalized, flexible workmanship involved in the firm’s custommade creations.


Archetto, Firenze Pitti
Sybarite
Salone del Mobile, Milano, 2011
High-density polystyrene covered with fiberglass and shaped by Cad-Cam programming, finished with glossy paint


Collective furniture conceived to create a space of encounter and expectation, outdoors or indoors, the double-face bench-sofa designed by Sybarite for the event Pitti Uomo in Florence, and then shown inside the 18th-century courtyard of the State University in Milan during the exhibition “Interni Mutant Architecture & Design,” was a sculptural, enveloping piece with a striking image, capable of transforming a piece of urban or domestic furniture into a fulcrum of reference based on centripetal dynamics. Archetto is a two-sided group seat, initially designed for optimal use of small temporary spaces. The fluid form like a bow is both aesthetic and functional: it maximizes the seating capacity, while encouraging interaction, socializing and conversation. Starting from the level of the seat, the back of the structure grows harmoniously, following the overall curve and taking the form of a large “vertical fin.” A screen-back that separates the seating zones, offering cozier situations. Avoiding edges that might convey a sense of closure, the seat unwinds and folds inward, inviting newcomers to relax and join in the conversation. Archetto is made with high-density foam, shaped by numerically controlled machines starting with a Cad-Cam file for maximum cutting precision. It is finished with a material applied in a liquid state, a particular type of resin similar to the kind used for yachts, making the seating ideal for outdoor applications. Archetto is light and composed of five parts for easy assembly and transport. Electrical sockets are built into the stainless steel base, for the use of portable computers and the recharging of small electronic tools.


Lights
Johanna Grawunder
Casa Privata, 2011
Polished steel


For the lighting of a multilevel staircase in a recently renovated castle in the Alps, Johanna Grawunder has proposed a system of lights that approaches the primary need to bring light into the shaft formed by the metal staircase, while projecting it outward as well, through a dynamic installation of precise floating signs produced by Marzorati Ronchetti for Ivan Mietton / IMDA 2011. A vertical design of luminous segments called “Wind”, essential steel parallelepipeds (50 x 1 x 8 cm) with a double blade of Led light concealed along the larger narrow sides. The steel boxes mounted on steel cables placed at the ends overlap at variable angles, creating a dual light, upward and downward, and offering complete perception of the geometric cascade of light from every vantage point and every level. A play of reflections and geometric forms that comes to terms with the linear design of the staircase and reveals the synergistic character of a project that mixes art and design in an effective game of contaminations.


Untitled (Thing)
Piotr Uklanski
Villa Manin – Passariano Codroipo (UD), 2007
Iron tubes of different sizes (ø 14 cm, ø 17 cm), sanded and galvanized, with irregular black paint finish

In the context of the established project “Sculptures in the Park” of the Contemporary Art Center of Villa Manin at Passariano Codroipo, in the province of Udine, in the summer of 2007 four new sculptures were installed by internationally acclaimed artists. In keeping with the goal of making the park of the Villa, the last residence of the doge conserved over time, into an interactive place capable of offering constantly changing scenarios, intertwining art and history, among the various creative talents involved the Polish artist Piotr Uklan´ski, in collaboration with Galleria Massimo De Carlo of Milan, proposed a surprising image. A large open hand, similar in scale and message to the rotating sculpture made by Le Corbusier in India at Chandigarh (the “city of silver”), capital of Punjab, inside the monumental complex of the Parliament. The work by Uklan´ski, in metal tubing of different sizes, custom-made by Marzorati Ronchetti, emerges from the lawn and embraces, from the vantage point of the park, the long façade of the Villa. The open hand intentionally plays with the ambiguity of its message: the open fingers may suggest a greeting to welcome visitors at the entrance, but they may also seem like a desperate call for help, or a symbol of a gesture of force and power of a threatening hidden giant.


Boutique Valextra
Studio Cerri & Associati
Milano, 2004
Bronze, glass, wood


Facing the very central Via Manzoni in Milan, the Valextra store, a “turnkey” production of Marzorati Ronchetti designed by Studio Cerri & Associati, reflects the company’s ability to coordinate, like a “project manager,” resources of workmanship not specifically linked to its productive specializations. A sort of overall orchestration of details and complete installation carried out by Marzorati Ronchetti in the construction of this flagship store, requiring versatility and organizational prowess. The project, first of all when seen from the street, introduces a “new type of showcase”; concealing the interior from view (it has to be discovered by entering the store, with the exception of a view offered by the central entrance door, screened during closing hours by a double bronze gate), the facade partitions underscore the historical motifs of the building, forming a new, slightly recessed stone “skin” that contains four display “tableaux.”Equal and symmetrical “windows,” two by two, cut into the stone, in which to position certain products from the collections, almost as in a museum display. Inside, spaces with a minimal look, with pale stone floors, luminous and essential, feature display systems using ethereal glass volumes with a minimum of structure and metal joints, joined by elegant “frame” wardrobes that enhance the handbags and accessories, which are also displayed in self-supporting cases inside a space whose design is based on lightness and the use of simple geometric forms, to create a refined, complex atmosphere.


Ella-V
Michelangelo Giombini
Milano, 2003-2006
Etched iron, mirror-finish stainless steel, black painted steel


First created for the event “Earthly Paradise” organized by the magazine Interni in Milan for the FuoriSalone 2003, the “Ella-V” counter system, composed of three separate parts that can be combined for different uses, was applied on that occasion for the bar corner of the vent, to make small sculptural icons that were also precise functional elements. The rounded “cookie” form of the plan is combined with the twostorey vertical extension, marked by a V-shaped opening for connection. Like the blocks of a “Froebelian game” on a larger scale, the three parts can be infinitely multiplied to construct different environmental geometries and gathering places, performing different functions as display fixtures for trade fairs and shops, bar counters or consoles in the home. The original etched iron finish with iridescent accents of green and violet was enhanced, for the Index Fair in Dubai in 2006, with other possible finishes (black paint and mirror-finish stainless steel), examples from a practically infinite range of custom options, made to order by Marzorati Ronchetti.


Weston Headquarters
Johanna Grawunder per Galerie Italienne
Paris, 2006
Polished steel, painted iron


The entrance of a historic Parisian building now used for offices was approached by Johanna Grawunder as an opportunity to experiment with a luminous installation to construct an emotional itinerary of great impact. The project is based on the synergic combination of Led lights and reflecting steel surfaces, organized in a series of separate episodes that are nevertheless all part of a single system of reference. Marzorati Ronchetti produced all the items of this project for Galerie Italienne, and supervised the phase of on-site assembly. Beside the staircase two facing rows of five quadrangular slope-adjustable panels of mirror-finish steel, backlit and attached to the wall on a central pivot, create a variable geometric pattern that forms a poetic contrast to the rigid walled enclosure, offering a very effective sequence. Once inside the glass door, the entrance space features a large chromium-plated ring, slightly inclined toward the interior, functioning as a central chandelier, creating an aura of light that extends to the ceiling from the internal border, thanks to a system of vertical incisions made on the back of the structure, from which the light of the Leds hidden inside the metal body emerges. In the next space, open to the garden, four steel partitions reach the ceiling, marking the corners of the architectural space, following the inlay of the black strip on the floor and projecting the light towards the wall, visually erasing the orthogonal connection between the walls with a luminous halo.


Ferrari Cup
Marzorati Ronchetti Technical Division
Maranello, 2006
Polished stainless steel with painted base


Paolo Portoghesi wrote: “Is a Ferrari a work of architecture, or not? The tone of a caption in the 1990 catalogue leave little doubt: ‘The 250 Testa Rossa with bodywork by Pininfarina and, in the background, the dome by Brunelleschi: five centuries of history of Italian art, summed up in two objects’ … Though the ‘Testa Rossa’ does not have the accompaniment of sinuous tubes of its ancestors, it has generated and continues to generate enthusiasm not only for its speed, but also for its form, and it would admirably stand up to the test of the three terms of Vitruvius: firmitas, utilitas, venustas; as long as we avoid confusing solidity with immobility. Whether or not it should be placed on the same plane as Brunelleschi’s dome, or whether it is correct to create rigid boundaries between industrial production, crafts and art, is a theoretical problem.” Indubitably the Ferrari is an inseparable part of the concept of Made in Italy, and represents the excellence of Italian automotive production in the world, constituting a “legend” of mechanical prowess. For the conclusion of the competitive career of one of its great champions, Michael Schumacher, Ferrari commissioned Marzorati Ronchetti to create an affective trophy, intentionally “off-scale” to express the admiration of the company and the racing team for the German driver. The large polished steel cup is a tribute to the “eleven extraordinary years” of collaboration between Ferrari and Schumacher, a large octagonal chalice with a base painted in Ferrari red, with a connection in black and white checks, like the checkered flag of Formula 1 racing.


10 Corso Como Seoul
Kris Ruhs
Seoul, 2008
Waxed etched sheet metal, satin-finish anodized aluminum


“10 Corso Como Seoul,” opened in March 2008 in the dynamic urban area of Cheongdam-dong, repeats the success of the concept store in Milan that Carla Sozzani created over twenty years ago, a formula she now plans to repeat in a range of Asian cities, in collaboration with the Samsung Fashion Group. The mixture of shopping, dining and care for the body is organized here in the Korean metropolis on three levels, evoking the atmosphere and image of the original store in Milan. Unlike its predecessor (concealed inside an old courtyard), the Seoul facility has a large glazed façade on the street, with an icon-sculpture by Kris Ruhs that becomes the store’s totemic symbol. Marzorati Ronchetti manufactured, transported and assembled on site the large metal sculpture that retraces, in a contemporary way, the ancient art of origami, with a sheet of steel cut out in fluid figures that interlock thanks to the zigzag bending of the vertical sheet. This large urban sculpture is joined, at “10 Corso Como Seoul,” by the sculptural bases of the display tables in the bookshop (like those of the space in Milan), and a smaller sculpture placed on the terrace. The hanging lamps in the women’s fashion boutique transform a burnished parallelepiped into a sculptural object, carving curves bent outward by 90° on the surfaces. All the pieces were constructed and tested in the Cantù plant before being assembled in Korea.


Ekto Chair
Karim Rashid per Ivan Mietton
IMDA, 2010
Shaped aluminium sheet, glossy paint finish


A chair conceived as a single piece of curved metal featuring parallel cuts that determine the figure of the object while creating a certain structural elasticity. Karim Rashid, the versatile designer of Egyptian origin raised in Canada, has approached a wide range of scales in his design career: from architecture to interiors, fashion to furnishings and lighting, combining this practice with frequent incursions into the worlds of art and music. In this project for a metal chair the exuberance of his approach is clearly visible, thanks to the chromatic choices of the two pieces produced by Marzorati Ronchetti: Klein blue and a semitransparent golden finish that transforms the seat into a sort of “contemporary throne.” The compositional concept is very clear. The finished chair is shaped from a sheet of aluminium, without any mechanical connections of separate parts. It develops and takes form like a supple sculpture, a monolith figuratively lightened by a series of parallel incisions that make the final image similar to that of a system of vertebrae, balanced between the animal and plant kingdom.


Reverb Wire Chair
Brodie Neill
Gallery “The Apartment”, London, 2010
Mirror-polished stainless steel rod


The Reverb Wire Chair by the Australian designer Brodie Neill, manufactured by Marzorati Ronchetti for Patrick Brillet, the gallerist and researcher in the field of postwar and contemporary design, and presented at “SuperDesign London” in 2010, is an ethereal chair that plays with the relationship between volumetric presence and structural lightness. Produced in a limited edition of just twenty pieces, the chair is based on the form of a geometric vortex, a system made with steel rods that repeat to form a rhomboidal grid with openings of different sizes. The gaps widen towards the outside, reaching the circumference in the same material, made with the same steel rod that closes the edge, while the openings get smaller towards the central fulcrum, where the tapering funnel-like space forms the seat and the support trunk of the chair. An object whose clear structural geometry also makes reference to the sculptural forms of nature, and in particular to the Calla Lily, associated on a symbolic level with the tears shed by Eve as she left the Garden of Eden, while in classical Greece the flower was a symbol of sexuality, eroticism and fertility. A surprising and sensual, light and “transparent” chair, a perfectly crafted, essential design that evokes sensations of the ancestral forms of the natural world.


Six Sides
Cristiano Benzoni
2011
Texturized matte black-painted carbon steel


The table designed by Cristiano Benzoni for a private apartment in Paris sums up – in its formal solution and conceptual approach – the method of redesign (applied, for example, by the Castiglioni brothers) and of the reinvention of the design project. The idea is to observe the objects around us with curiosity, to grasp the value in time of a form or a type, then rethinking the figure in all its complexity in a contemporary way, at times with a focus on new methods of industrial production. In this case, the traditional artist’s worktable on trestles, taken as an “archetype” to conserve, becomes a large table for use in the office or the home, reflecting the “amphibious” nature of many contemporary furnishings. The solution employs the “sawhorse” in an innovative way, using it as a central beam to support the top. The latter has an extended hexagonal form and a variable section that widens from the slender border towards the central connection. In this way the supports of the table do not interfere with the legs of persons seated around it. The overall figure is lighter, exploiting the properties of the material and its structural strength.


Perspectives
John Pawson
Swarovski Crystal Palace, London, 2011
Steel hemisphere with mirror-polished horizontal plane and vibrated lateral surface. Upper reflector in mirror-polished stainless steel


During the London Design Festival 2011, John Pawson, an English architect of great sensitivity, and Swarovski Crystal Palace produced an installation inside the monumental St. Paul’s Cathedral. The installation concentrates on the space of the geometric staircase in the tower to the right of the entrance; the architectural geometry is taken as a matrix of reference, and Pawson’s project underscores the vertical perspective of the space, through the use of light and visually unobtrusive elements that play with the principle of reflection and the magic of the mirror. A steel hemisphere (1.2 meters in diameter) with a mirror-polished plane, custom made by Marzorati Ronchetti, is positioned at the center of the staircase over the stone star on the floor inside the circumference defined by the staircase. The reflection of the spiral of stone on the steel surface is joined by the distorted, fascinating image created by the convex mirror placed at a height of 23 meters in the dome above, and the ulterior visual synthesis created by the concave circular Swarovski crystal (40 cm in diameter) placed at the center of the plane of the hemisphere. The game of reflections and reduction of the image of the spiral in the central Swarovski crystal, transformed into a fulcrum- like “double”, generates a visual experience of the historic space, making it appear as a labyrinth of enveloping, overlapping geometric forms.


Slash, Circle Game
Johanna Grawunder per Ivan Mietton
IMDA, 2011
Barrisol Polished stainless steel, silver painted sheet metal, Barrisol sheet


The chandelier, since its birth, was the home lighting typology always included in 19th-century bourgeois homes. Central lights, in large, striking figurations, have been outstanding features of the great halls of castles and palaces, combining the decorative volumetric dimension with a role – secondary, at times – as a light source. The same thing happens today in large public buildings, theaters, places of entertainment, stations and places of transit. This is the dense, multiple tradition of typology and design experimentation behind these two projects by Johanna Grawunder for a private apartment in Paris, produced as custom one-offs by Marzorati Ronchetti for Ivan Mietton / IMDA. In the entrance of the house the first chandelier, “Slash,” is like an abstract installation composed of an initial rectangular part in black painted sheet metal with Barrisol sheet used to uniformly spread the variable-tone Led light. The light emerges like an upper halo, colouring part of the ceiling, to indicate the intentional separation between the lamp and the domestic surface. This first light element is joined, in the lower part, by a system of suspended tracks in mirror-finish stainless steel, on which to attach cylindrical spotlights. In the living room the second chandelier, “Circle Game,” plays the role of a central steel sculpture based on the interlocking of circumferences and cylinders to create a complex figure with rings at different heights. The light sources are fitted with coloured opal glass, adding a rich chromatic range to the monomateric steel solution. Finally, a series of blue Leds colour the ceiling, creating an effective play of reflections on the mirror surfaces.


Ascent
Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby
Haunch of Venison Gallery, London, 2011
Mirror-polished brass, painted carbon steel


Young and emerging English designers in the London of the new millennium, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby now concentrate on many typologies connected with the world of objects, approached in terms of everyday functional quality and for their iconic and symbolic aspects. The Olympic torch for the Games of 2012 will be their creation, underlining the symbolic side of their research seen in the exhibition Ascent organized at the Haunch of Venison Gallery in the fall of 2011. The design duo has worked on the concept of “hidden design,” concealed in memory, also on an unconscious level. Childhood recollections of the two designers – Osgerby grew up close to a Royal Air Force base, Barber was fascinated by boats and their design – take concrete form in a series of objects that evoke formal memories of those faraway worlds. Shiny portholes coloured with central light, consoles like airplane wings, a floating chandelier conceived as a light flying machine of days gone by, with an ethereal structure clad in Japanese paper. An exhibition of highly iconic one-offs, of great materic impact. Marzorati Ronchetti has produced the entire collection, with the exception of the paper chandelier, using mirror-finish brass sheet, rounded on two sides for the vertical sculptural element, and only on the part below the top for the horizontal console. For the two large conical portholes, the polished brass is joined by Nissan red painted carbon steel, a particularly dynamic, striking color specified by the designers.


Friction Project
Thomas Heatherwick
2012



Ammonite
Etagere Noe & Duchafour Lawrance
2012



New Telescope
Giò Marconi
2012



10 Corso Como
Kris Ruhs
Milano, 1998-2002
Painted iron, brushed steel


“10 Corso Como,” created by Carla Sozzani, began its activity and its innovative formula as a store-gallery of contemporary fashion, design, figurative art, architecture and photography in 1990. Its initial spaces were organized in the large areas of a former garage inside a courtyard. Over time more rooms have been added, on different levels and adjacent to the original spaces, to form a sort of innovative “mall” of merchandise and culture that has also been repeated as a successful formula in other geographical zones. The large multifunctional facility includes a gallery, a bookstore, a space for music, fashion and design boutiques, a restaurant and a café in a courtyard transformed to make a garden, faced by the railed balconies of a typical historical Milanese apartment building. The American artist Kris Ruhs has added character to the spaces, creating a series of unique display fixtures (like the tables with sculptural iron bases in the bookstore) with a forceful image, manufactured by Marzorati Ronchetti, including the curved counter of the restaurant-café. The material chosen for the bases of the tables is painted iron and rusted steel rod, while brushed steel with iridescent nuances has been used for the central counter of the restaurant. Here Marzorati Ronchetti has made the service elements and all the custom seating, the large windows and the ceiling that echoes the quadrangular metal grid of the vertical partitions, with alternating backlit segments of crafted glass.


Boutique Alain Journo
Ron Arad Associates
Milano, 1999
Stainless steel


The renovation of the Alain Journo boutique on very central Via della Spiga in Milan, a shop already designed by Arad and made by Marzorati Ronchetti in its first version in 1993, responds to the need to expand the retail area in the basement, creating a sense of continuity with the existing space. The solution implemented generates a unified environment organized around a landing-staircase system that in spite of the small size of the shop manages to visually dilate the architectural setting for the collections, while inventing an innovative itinerary of display. Small flights of steps and connected levels are arranged in the store, with a small balcony at the entrance, facing inward, from which to ascend and descend in continuous, rather Escherian movement, in a white space marked by the color of the stainless steel used for the wall studs that accommodate the fixtures in a flexible way, the cash counter in the form of a stylized, symmetrical amoeba – a figure also seen on the ceiling, surrounded by a blade of light like an effective planar chandelier – an above all by the balustrade that adds a strong note of character to the whole boutique. The stainless steel ribbon bends and is bolted at two points to make a continuous, modular figure that is a reminder of couture pleats and baroque architecture at the same time, following the steps and landings to outline an evocative, enveloping setting.


Illy Headquarter
Luca Trazzi
Trieste, 1999
Mirror-finish stainless steel


A macro-furnishings project created by Luca Trazzi as a symbolic object capable of representing the excellence of the Illy brand, the uniqueness and quality of its outstanding coffee. This is the task performed by this steel counter, a strong, assertive reflecting monolith that at the same time interprets the tradition of the space of the Italian caffè-bar, the modes of consumption standing up at the counter, the quick enjoyment of a flavor and aroma that are loved all over the world. In the form of an oblong horseshoe with rounded, beveled borders to underline the sculptural shape of the whole, the café counter for Illy already defines a space with its form, reflecting its surroundings on its surface. The central logo of the company emerges from the reflections of the steel to identify the quality and exceptional character of the furnishings with the philosophy of the brand, according to which “what is good cannot help but be beautiful, and vice versa. ” A work of furnishings conceived to represent one of the finest national coffee trademarks, used not only in the company headquarters but also at trade fairs and events, as a recognizable travelling icon.


Imperial College Business School
Foster & Partners
London, 2000-2004
Shot-peened stainless steel


The new entrance of the extension of the Imperial College Business School is part of a large campus that has been a project of the studio Foster & Partners since the early 1990s. The new portion has been conceived as a sort of covered square that adds a full-height space on six levels to an existing facade, which is transformed into “interior frontage.” The new volume updates the image of the school and becomes a new, light landmark at street level, in the urban landscape of Exhibition Road. Inside the new lobby, a gathering place and a kind of spontaneous “social forum” for students and teachers, the reception area becomes the perspective fulcrum of reference, an information point and nexus of circulation routes for students and visitors. Designed by Foster & Partners and produced by Marzorati Ronchetti, the long reception counter stands out for its absolutely clean form and monolithic appearance, also generated by the matte treatment of the steel. Slightly raised off the stone floor thanks to a sturdy recessed panel that corresponds to the raised level of the floor behind, the long metal monolith, free of signs of joints, with slightly rounded borders, features a counter aimed towards the public, on a lower level with respect to the main surface, optimizing usage and enhancing the overall figure.


Borgo Gropparello
Marzorati Ronchetti Technical Division
Piacenza, 2004-2007
Etched bronze, wood, metallic bronze-effect sand-blasted steel, polished stainless steel


The renewal of the settlement of military origin known as Castel de’ Rossi required three years of work of the Technical Division of Marzorati Ronchetti to develop various typologies with different uses of materials, translating the desires of the owner – a contemporary incarnation of the figure of the 18th-century dilettante – into a project and its subsequent completion. After making the works in metal like the door, with an antique look, in etched bronze, the parapets and outdoor furnishings in bronzeeffect sand-blasted iron, the stainless steel parts of the kitchen and the showers, and the bronze furnishings, Marzorati Ronchetti also supplied wooden furniture in solid oak, demonstrating ability in overall orchestration, from the details to the whole, requiring skilled craftsmanship of many different kinds.


HBOS Chandelier
Speirs & Major Associates
Edinburgh, 2005
Polished stainless steel, curved and frosted glass tiles


In Edinburgh, in 2006, restoration was completed by the architect Malcolm Fraser of the historic headquarters of the Bank of Scotland, a building with domes and pinnacles built in 1806, and a familiar landmark in the city. All the spaces have been restored to their original state, bringing back the atmospheres of the past and renovating decorations and rooms. In the complex work of restoration of the monumental Bryce Hall (the central image space of the building), it was decided to introduce a contemporary feature (the only one in the whole project): a large central chandelier by the light designers Speirs & Major. The figure of the classic chandelier is reworked by the designers only in the circular form, centrally suspended, in this case using two circumferences of different sizes, one fitted inside the other. A first circle, 3 meters in diameter, composed of small panes of extraclear curved and frosted glass, using a pattern developed by the designers, contains a second circle (ø 2 m) that repeats its material and figure. Each pane is attached to an internal support structure with studs of polished stainless steel. Inside, a pointed trunk in the same material supports the cluster of lights; eighty bulbs attached to direction-adjustable arms, forming an effective weave of luminous points wrapped by the double circle of glass.


180 Great Portland Street
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
London, 2006
Hammered mirror-finish steel, brushed steel, cowhide and transparent black glass


In the center of London, the entrance hall of this office building is composed of a regular space with the route to the elevators placed on the left, emphasized by an opening in the ceiling that captures natural light from above. The design choice was to underline, in a single summary figure, the space occupied by the reception counter and the elevator block behind it, cladding the surfaces of walls and ceiling with a thick wooden “skin.” An ulterior materic layer created by Marzorati Ronchetti has been applied to the resulting box: a series of seventeen mirror-finish hammered stainless steel panels placed side by side and suspended between the floor and ceiling to reflect and dilute the images of the surrounding space. Other additional compositional features contribute to determine the overall grammar: the reception counter and the long linear bench in front of the art installation on the right wall. Both are in brushed steel with rounded edges, free of signs of joining, with perfectly uniform surfaces. The two pieces have capitonné cowhide inserts with a diamond motif, used respectively as the vertical front of the reception counter and the horizontal seat of part of the bench.


Mandala del Cantiere
Studio Italo Rota & Partners
Biennale di Venezia, 2006
Polished and painted stainless steel


For the Venice Architecture Biennale the DARC (the Ministerial Agency for the promotion and protection of contemporary architecture, at the time) addressed the themes of the worksite, public construction and the image the organization of construction work transmits in our country. Italo Rota summed up the figures, signals and primary activities of the worksite in symbolic, almost esoteric form, organizing them in four iconographic families of reference: “Washing, Dressing, Planning and Nourishing.” The imagery as symbol of everyday labors, displayed on four large quadrangular panels, was positioned as the façade of a suspended cube for a pavilion, with a reflecting steel base featuring four caryatids in the same material, portraying construction workers with their helmets. The installation, entirely produced by Marzorati Ronchetti, was positioned in the garden facing the Italian Pavilion, as a strong symbolic signal. As Mario Lupano wrote at the time, “the Mandala [is] a work of architectural signage with graphic explosion-implosions by Giorgio Camuffo derived from the signals and symbols that regulate the functioning of the contemporary construction site. This introductory moment underscores the idea of the worksite as a machine of the collective imaginary, popular and yet also elitist, composed of forms of technical excellence, mysterious languages that govern equally mysterious rituals.”


Ribbon, Hilton Park Line Hotel
United Designers Europe
London, 2008
Polished brass and etched brass


Presented while still in the development phase at the Milan Triennale during the Fuorisalone 2006, the large ribbon sculpture now hangs at the center of the restaurant of the Hilton Park Lane in London, where it stands out as a visual fulcrum of reference, suspended from the ceiling. Made with two ribbons of brass with different finishes (polished and etched) that embrace each other in an apparently random way, the Ribbon stretches for 13 meters in length, sparkling in the space and bringing out the properties of the material used. Inventing a sort of new typology, the chandelier for indirect horizontal lighting, Ribbon is composed of two long bands of brass, with a thickness of 3 mm and a width of 45 cm, that intertwine in a sculptural form, framed by a large niche created in the suspended ceiling, with indirect light spreading from the entire perimeter. The light bounces off the sculpture, which becomes a refraction device of variable geometry, producing different, mutable reflections triggered by the bends and shape of the overall body. The glow of the polished brass is joined by the more muted shading of the etched finish. A hybrid object, between an art installation and a lighting fixture, evidence of the great care applied in manufacture and finishing by Marzorati Ronchetti, on every scale, in every project.


Unititled (The Fist), Untitled (Bloody Sunday)
Piotr Uklan´ski
Milano, 2007
Painted steel


“Question: what do Communism, the ‘Love Party,’ dripping blood, the concept of Eurotrash and the top model Stephanie Seymour have in common? Answer: Piotr Uklan´ski”. This passage is from the introduction to the artist’s solo show at Galleria Massimo De Carlo in Milan in December 2007. Piotr Uklan´ski was born in Warsaw in 1968; he studied painting at the Fine Arts Academy of that city, and then photography at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. He achieved acclaim on the New York art scene in the mid-1990s, thanks to an emblematic work – Untitled (Dance Floor) – a sculpture that combines the legacy of Minimalism with the mingling of art and entertainment typical of the contemporary era. Working in Warsaw and New York, Uklan´ski has produced a proteiform oeuvre, exploring many different media (sculpture, photography, collage, performance and film), that feeds on a very wide range of cultural references. For this installation on the “clenched fist” and the class struggle, symbolized by the dripping red paint/blood of the backdrop, a reference to Bloody Sunday, the massacre in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland on 30 January 1972, when twenty-six unarmed civil rights protestors were shot (fourteen fatally) by soldiers of the British Army, Piotr Uklan´ski turned to Marzorati Ronchetti to make the profile of a clenched fist in painted metal tubing, attached to the floor by means of two bolted plates.


Knighton House
Archer Architects
London, 2007
Polished stainless steel


The reception area and the waiting zone of this office building in London have a character based on refined chromatic and compositional verve. The curved multicolored wall of overlaid backlit plastic parallelepipeds forms a backdrop for a luminous installation composed of a vortex of neon light hung from the ceiling, a direct reminder of the famous work by Lucio Fontana created for positioning above the flight of steps of the 9th Milan Triennale in 1951, in the context of the exhibit design by Luciano Baldessari: a magical ribbon of light that has been reproduced today, to hover over Piazza Duomo in the spaces of the new Museo del Novecento in Milan by Italo Rota. The force of this interior landscape in London relies on the structural pillars of the building, which have been uniformly transformed into powerful cylindrical columns in mirror-finish steel, produced and installed by Marzorati Ronchetti, which reflect the lights and colours of the overall space. These are landmark presences, monoliths of steel that stand out, thanks to their material and figure, from the compositional grammar of the environment while remaining a part of it, establishing a close relationship of harmonic counterpoint that contributes to enhance the setting as a whole.


Isaia
James Irvine
Milano, 2008-2009
Painted steel and glass


The staircase is the object that has always accompanied the rise of any work of architecture; the sequence of horizontal lines formed by the steps determines the relationship, the connection, between the construction and the host terrain, and corresponds to the height of the overall construction. The staircase is directly associated with the act of ascent, and the shape of the ramp, its organization and fragmentation with intermediate landings, makes it possible to perceive the space of any work of architecture and its vertical development. Clearly the technical, constructive and quantitative aspects of staircases are associated with a symbolic value capable of generating a theory of architectural space conceived as a vertical tracking shot. Gustave Flaubert, in his satirical Dictionary of Accepted Ideas ( 1850-1880, published in 1913), defined architects as “all idiots; they always forget to put staircases in houses,” underlining the fact that without stairs spaces seem incomplete and lifeless. The staircase designed by James Irvine for the Isaia store in Milan and produced by Marzorati Ronchetti in painted steel and glass emphasizes the rise of the vertical space while remaining an independent feature. Intentionally detached from the nearby walls, the staircase is conceived as a continuous sequence of horizontal surfaces, held together by a central block to form a continuous structure, a ribbon on which to walk, essential in its overall geometry and shape.


New Penderel House
T&T Properties
London, 2010
Hammered mirror-finish stainless steel


The ground floor entrance of an office building on High Holborn in London features a materic installation made by Marzorati Ronchetti, which transforms a blank, unremarkable wall into a magical reflecting presence that adds images and atmosphere to a place of reception and access to the various levels. Five large mirror-finish steel panels, hammered by hand, are juxtaposed continuously to create a large suspended work that reflects and distorts, almost as in a painting, the image of the space in front of it and the passage of visitors. The sheets, separated from the wall, are “framed” by a continuous band of light that spreads from behind them, creating a glowing halo that enhances and underscores the “architectural skin” of steel inserted in the space. This installation reinterprets the current of Minimal Art initiated in the 1960s by Donald Judd, in which basic geometric forms extending in real space pointed to an irreversible distancing from painting in favour of a threedimensional approach. Instead of suggesting an illusory space, Judd employed a truly abstract art to use and define real space. The steel panels placed in the New Penderel House in London obey this same principle, making optimal use of the chosen material.


Galerie Downtown
Jean de Piépape
Paris, 2010
Vibrated stainless steel, red leather and plastic laminate


Galerie Downtown of François Laffanour is an obligatory reference point in Paris for those involved in design and modern vintage, furnishings and objects connected with the French masters of design (from Jean Prouvé to Pierre Chareau, Le Corbusier to Charlotte Perriand), all the way to contemporary talents whose one-offs, limited editions, books and publications are offered by the gallery. Recently the original spaces of the gallery at Rue de Seine 33 have been joined by a nearby facility renovated by Jean de Piépape, where a reception counter-cabinet made by Marzorati Ronchetti stands beside the entrance, on a white marble floor. The piece is composed of two monolithic parts that interlock perpendicular to one another: the counter against the wall is “detached” from the stone floor thanks to a recessed shutter, while the cabinet with four doors reaches up to the ceiling. The rounded borders and “aged” finish of the metal surface transform the volumetric interlock of the piece into a sort of materic counterpoint with respect to the white of the architectural enclosure. This effect is accentuated by the lighted red leather work-surface and the inner plastic laminate panel in the same colour, producing a mysterious, fascinating highlight on the wall behind it.


Pear Tree Court
Buckley Gray Yeoman Architects
London, 2011
Etched carbon steel, Corian


The image of this entrance to a business complex in London reflects the materic palette of lofts (white walls, wooden plank flooring, cast iron columns, natural materials) and, at the same time, the figurative dimension of the finest expressions of Arte Povera, in the metal wall installation made by Marzorati Ronchetti with large sheets of etched carbon steel. The blank exposed brick wall to the left of the entrance has been covered with a series of metal sheets, side by side, suspended between floor and ceiling and separated from the wall to adjust for the shift imposed by the pillars and the corner partitions. The installation is backlit to underscore the detached effect, making the material seem to float in the space, as in certain works by the Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, the master of Arte Povera who at the start of the 1960s, together with a group of young artists, felt the need to challenge “traditional” art by rediscovering the value and purity of the “humblest” materials, while decontextualizing nature inside the spaces usually set aside for art exhibitions. The black sheet metal, “raw” and enhanced by a handmade wax finish, is repeated in this entrance on part of the reception counter on which is placed, in a game of elementary forms, a gray Corian screening block that echoes the color of the portion of the floor that forms the base for the information desk.


Louis Vuitton
Buckley Gray Yeoman Architects
Milano, 2011
Polished stainless steel, wood and cowhide, glass


Inside Milan’s “fashion quad,” on the very central Via Montenapoleone, the Louis Vuitton store reflects the new image concept by the American studio Peter Marino Architects for all the firm’s flagship facilities. Marzorati Ronchetti has produced for Exa the large entrance casement and two complex internal staircases. The latter function both as layout elements and attractions within the overall composition, combining the lightness of glass with mirror-finish stainless steel, teak steps and precious details like the steel strips to prevent slipping on the solid wood treads, and the cowhide used to cover the handrail with an elliptical cross-section. The linear staircase connecting the ground floor to the basement offers a fine view of the two-level space at the center of the store. Its overall lightness is emphasized by the cantilevered steps supported by a central beam clad in polished steel. A parapet in the same material with the same finishes marks, at the landing, the entire perimeter of the stairwell, as a complementary conclusive feature. The second staircase leads from the ground floor to the upper level, with a more complex form of four ramps alternating with landings. This staircase repeats the same materials, finishes and details, emphasizing the perception of the shiny steel that also contains built-in spotlights at certain points, reflecting the surrounding environment in overlaid, fragmented images.


Marni, 1999
Future Systems
Milano, 1999
Mirror-finish stainless steel, glass


In 1999 Marni, the Milanese fashion house that offered its garments by mail order, decided to open its first flagship store on Sloane Street in London, and then another on the very central Via della Spiga in Milan’s fashion quad. The idea is to organize with different colors a “total space” of great emotional impact, in which from the entrance and the shop windows, conceived from case to case as transparent screens or ways of framing the store as through a fish-eye lens (as in Milan), it would be possible to view an environment based on “liquid geometry” in which one bright, enveloping colour (blue in London, pink-orange in Milan) forms the backdrop for a display system in polished stainless steel, conceived as a sort of “artificial garden” translated into stems and curved pistils, rounded skidproof reflecting “plots” (the entrance threshold), reflecting ceilings and, above all, where the collections become an integral part of the installation. The garments are supported by special custom translucent plastic hangers, combining the retail aspects with the architectural dimension in a controlled, attentive overall orchestration. Marzorati Ronchetti made the entire store with particular care going into the curved metal parts, done with absolute perfection.


Villa Privata
Nicoletta Colombo
Muggiò (Milano), 2003
Painted steel, brushed steel, etched glass, window frames with painted iron inner finish and aluminium outer finish


The design of this three-level villa near Milan, conceived as a residence but also as a set for photographing furniture, and a place for temporary exhibitions and events, is based on the sum of essential volumes and a forceful overall contemporary character. The element of visual reference for the whole construction is the double steel and glass custom staircase that extends along the glazing both inside and outside, like a “Janus Bifrons.” The mirror finish of the metal structure of the staircase functions as a compositional invention to underline the relationship between the paths of ascent-descent. The image of the staircase enters, appearing like a reflection, from the special glazing composed of panes of blue glass on the outside, to shield the inside – where the glass is transparent – from view during the day. The ascending ramp, interrupted by a landing, is composed of a central beam that is part of the casement and also interlocks with the complex chamber glass system, which features light frosting of the glass on the inner side, and prevents any type of thermal break even at the position of the support beam, thanks to the use of a panel of polizene, a rigid high-density insulation material. The cantilevered steps attached to an essential support structure have treads in etched, skidproof layered glass (three 10 mm sheets with a polished border), with a central transparent line at the position of the line of low-consumption lighting powered from the beam of reference in the middle. Inside and outside, the luminous staircase is fitted with a brushed steel parapet that continues on the facade to complete the profile of the terrace and the movement and interlocking of the volumes. A project that conceals a high level of engineering and great attention to detail, implemented by Marzorati Ronchetti in close collaboration with the designer, covering the definitive development, manufacturing and installation.


Office Lobby
Progetto CMR
Milano, 2006
Stainless steel and glass, brushed steel, painted wood


The tradition of giving strong character to the streetfront lobbies of office buildings in the business districts of Englishspeaking countries is not found in the historical cities of Italy, where the buildings – usually of more venerable origin – tend to maintain their original image with a monumental doorway that interrupts a massive architectural base, offering access to an internal courtyard or stairwell that is nearly always concealed from view with respect to the street. This project by Progetto CMR for Tishman Speyer, coordinated by Structure Tone, in the center of Milan near Teatro alla Scala by Giuseppe Piermarini, stands out as an exception, in a corner building constructed in the 1970s. The idea is to extend the street towards the inside, to think of the entrance to an office building as a continuation of public space, translated into interior design terms. The base of the building becomes a continuous glazing on the two sides of the corner; the pillars, thanks to steel housings, are transformed into columns with an elliptical section, while a motorized revolving door with three segments in stainless steel and glass forms the entrance. The architecture of the transparent “new base” of the building is enhanced by an overhanging canopy, a forceful self-supporting contemporary linear cornice in brushed stainless steel, with a length of about forty meters. This architectural feature is grafted onto the existing facade, to complete the impact and figure of the new project. Inside, on the floor in Bronzetto marble that also extends over part of the sidewalk, the reception counter in painted wood and steel was custom-made, like the rest of the design, by Marzorati Ronchetti.


Tony Boutique
Silvia Scarpat
Magenta (Milano), 2008
Zinc, stainless steel, painted steel, glass


A multibrand boutique in the province of Milan was the design program approached by Silvia Scarpat, creating an interior landscape rich in materic episodes, a precise overall orchestration to bring out the best in the collections and individual accessories on display. The handbags, for example, are presented thanks to a zinc wall featuring a dense pattern of quadrangular segments assembled at different depths to make the entire surface threedimensional. In this sort of monomateric metal mosaic with chromatic variations dictated by the worked material, a series of niches finished with reflecting stainless steel contain the handbags, like from above by built-in spotlights. The forceful image of the zinc partition is joined, in the interior spaces, by a landscape in which design furnishings of great character and vivid color stand out, deployed as fulcrums and reference points, and flanked by a series of custom display fixtures in which metal and its craftsmanship play a leading role. Glass volumes with a steel base, tables of different sizes, lighted platforms and shelves in white painted steel, storage elements with tops in matte treated steel, garment hangers in stainless steel, all made by Marzorati Ronchetti, combine to create a refined, linear retail setting for the clothing and accessories of the best contemporary fashion brands.


Central Park Penthouse
Studio Droulers Architecture
New York, 2008-2009
Shiny and matte bronze-plated brass, bronze, painted aluminum


On the upper level of a prestigious residential building facing Central Park in New York, the studio Droulers Architecture has created a luxurious penthouse. The guidelines of the project, in tune with the character of the building, involved the contemporary revision of European Art Deco with the aesthetics of the 1930s in America, avoiding an approach of pure revival and instead attempting to blend the atmosphere of that era with a contemporary sensibility capable of offering a high level of comfort without sacrificing the recognizable character of the present. Within this complex design orchestration and refined materic-chromatic palette, Marzorati Ronchetti has produced certain metal parts that become the identifying features of the project. First of all, the large sliding doors, a redesign and tribute to the ones designed by the architect Piero Portaluppi for Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan (1932–35), done for this New York penthouse in plaques of bronze-plated brass, mounted in an effective relationship of solids and voids. The same geometric shifts are repeated in the door made with aluminum plaques, painted white, alternating with portions in bronze-plated brass, and in the entrance door with a more complex design, almost an abstract artwork composed of interlocking shiny and matte plates of the same material. Strips of bronze have been inserted in the wooden flooring, and the same substance has also been used for the large round table on the terrace, with a Bisazza mosaic top.


Maison Louis Vuitton
Peter Marino Architects
London, 2010
Electrocolored steel, wood and cowhide, glass


In London’s Mayfair district, Maison Louis Vuitton was opened in 2010. The whole space has been designed by Peter Marino, who has operated with great discretion on the outside, inventing a metal grid that acts as a “filter” between exterior and interior, covering part of the windows and repeated as an expressive surface in the interiors as well. The inner spaces have an image that bears no resemblance to the character of the host buildings, with an enveloping itinerary marked by a complex, variegated materic and decorative palette to indicate the different spaces for the collections. Once past the entrance door, made by Marzorati Ronchetti, and beyond the glass access walkway, a staircase in the same material parallel to the facade has an immediate vertical opening that offers a view of the three levels open to the public (joined by the third floor set aside for Vips and special customers received by appointment in private suites). Among the various spaces, on the ground floor to the right there is a striking two-storey area for the collection of travel bags and suitcases, organized in a towering steel display with wooden shelves featuring leather borders. The display system, custommade and installed by Marzorati Ronchetti, is partially backlit against the solid vertical walls. Its vertical design is accentuated by the reflecting ceiling.


Sky, Stretch, XXX
Johanna Grawunder
Singapore FreePort, 2011
Polished stainless steel, painted aluminum, Barrisol, mirrors and Plexiglas


For the Singapore FreePort, a tax-free storage facility for artworks from all over the world designed by the architect Carmelo Stendardo, Johanna Grawunder has designed three lighting systems, translating the sensitivity and tension usually expressed in her installations and artistic works into an experimental technical solution. The project is organized in three elements conceived to establish a dialogue with the spaces of the building, underscoring their character and potential, using light and selection of materials as operative tools. “Sky” marks the entrance to the facility, marking the ceiling with the light that enters through the blue Barrisol sheet to emphasize the rectilinear perspective of the path of circulation. The ceilingmounted system is composed of sheets of painted aluminium that form an overturned cone. The Barrisol film, which “lights up” in a uniform way, is stretched at its base. At the top, concealed by the structure, fluorescents create an area of light and detachment from the architectural structure, making the lamp more self-contained and independent. “XXX” has been designed for the ceilings of the two main corridors. It is a long box of mirrors that virtually expands the space below. The reflecting surface it etched by strips of Plexiglas that form a modular geometric grid, lit from behind by Leds. Finally, “Stretch” lights the remaining corridors, taking the form of a large quadrangular metal ceiling lamp with blue Barrisol sheet, capable of spreading fluorescent light in an optimal way. Marzorati Ronchetti has produced and installed the entire system, combining metalworking with the engineering of the lighting equipment.


Tiffany
Tiffany & Co
Milano, 2011
Painted steel, stainless steel, glass, painted wood


The Tiffany corner developed by Christian Lahoude is like a fulcrum of reference, already clearly visible from the street, facing the main entrance from Via della Passerella, toward the busy movement on Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The image, upon entering, is that of an “architectural corner” with a wall-display case in glass, inserted in the three-dimensional skin of the overall facing, composed of a series of steel bands of different sizes, painted in a pearl color and overlaid to leave an opening lit by Leds from which the typical light turquoise hue of the Tiffany brand emerges. The bands allude, in terms of interior architecture, to the white ribbon of the Tiffany packaging, deployed here to form a single, enveloping environment, while the “Tiffany blue” emerges from the lighted shutters that alternate with the sculptural form of the metal bands. The curved shape of the steel bands determines the exterior and interior of the corner, and then shifts into lighted display counters, equipped inside with drawers and vanishing compartments. Niche cases punctuate the metal surface, together with luminous logos, creating a vertical display itinerary, complementary to that of the cases inserted in the three counters that form the perimeter, offering access to the rest of the department store.


Deutsche Bank
Mario Bellini Architect(s)
Frankfurt, 2011
Black carbon steel sheet with wax finish, etched glass


Mario Bellini, the Milanese architect and designer, was the winner in December 2006 of the competition held by Deutsche Bank for the complete restructuring of its historic headquarters in Frankfurt. Marzorati Ronchetti worked on the interiors of the executive floors, designed by Bellini as spaces of great elegance, where waxed sheet metal (2 mm thick) becomes a “noble” material of reference for the entire compositional grammar of the project. For the Deutsche Bank the black metal panels are used for doors and housings, to clad walls with variable curvatures, to create laser-cut blinds featuring irregular geometric forms (thickness 10 mm) to function as screening, and for waiting areas in the entrance foyer. The calendered panels of walls and circulation spaces stop short of the ceiling, offering space for backlighting and underlining their nature as an independent architectural skin, marked by a regular system of 3 mm seams. Another outstanding feature is the curved internal staircase connecting the meeting rooms of the 34th floor and the function room on the level above. The staircase follows an arc for a height of over five meters. The light sequence of etched glass steps stands out against the black background of the sheet metal that forms the special balustrade, with a shaped cylindrical handrail, separated by means of a white segment from the calendered iron wing that continues, on the upper level, as a conclusive protecting element.


Policlinico Italia
Fabrizio Belocchi
Roma, 2011
Painted steel, expanded metal


The architectural complex of the Policlinico Italia was constructed towards the end of the 1950s, and acts as an architectural curtain to complete the urban design of Piazza del Campidano in Rome. To comply with new safety and evacuation standards, it became necessary to create a new outdoor staircase to connect the zones of the hospital rooms and to provide the required fire escape routes. The design idea developed by the architect Fabrizio Belocchi was to create an architectural feature that would establish a dialogue with the building, rather than hastily responding to the new requirements in a simply “functional” way, conforming to the widespread practice of arbitrary attachment of parts. The new outdoor staircase produced in white painted steel by Marzorati Ronchetti is like a light balcony on multiple levels, connecting the two wings of the building and creating a harmonious feature, cantilevered at its curved connection. The staircase is inserted amidst raised walkways, inside an arched partition in reinforced concrete that functions as a central structural support. The structural framework, also exposed in the design as an aesthetic-formal solution, combines calendered H-beams with a cylindrical-section reticular system. The sheets of expanded metal used for the parapets and the horizontal segments contribute to convey a sense of lightness and “transparency” of the whole structure.


Cages Sans Frontières
Ron Arad Associates
MoMA New York, Singapore Freeport, 2009 - 2010
Mirror-finish stainless steel, Cor-ten, Barrisol


Cages Sans Frontières is a sort of “exhibition ark,” a large self-supporting display fixture capable of containing objects, furnishings and sculptures, designed by Arad as part of his intense research, inside a sinuous, dilated orthogonal metal grid that forms the entire structure. Like a sheet to twist in different directions on its horizontal axis, the metal structure formed a long variably shaped surface of great sculptural impact, making the rigid properties of steel become fluid and supple. Freed of the Corian panels that were needed for the installation of the exhibition at MoMA, Cages Sans Frontières is now located inside the inner full-height courtyard, open to the sky thanks to a glass ceiling, of the Singapore FreePort. Here the “ark,” instead of being an exceptional display fixtures, takes on the value of an environmental design work in its own right, a complete, dynamic installation that reminds us of a caged animal ready to escape from its gilded enclosure. The elimination of the panels brings out the reflections of the lining of the compartments in mirror-finish stainless steel, emphasizing the sculptural shape of the whole and the amazing workmanship provided by Marzorati Ronchetti. A series of lamps designed by Johanna Grawunder and made by Marzorati Ronchetti descend from the luminous screened glass roof, essential parallelepipeds, in an orthogonal arrangement, of steel and glass, with Leds of different colors, adding lightness and sensitivity to the overall installation.


Ladurée, Harrods
Studio Panetude
London, 2006
Press-formed lacquered steel sheet, brass and gold leaf


The history of the Parisian Ladurée tearoom dates back to 1862, when Louis-Ernest Ladurée opened a bakery at 16 Rue Royale. The elegant decoration of the interiors was assigned to Jules Chéret, a famous poster designer, who based on the fresco techniques of the Sistine Chapel and the Opéra Garnier enhanced the interiors with fantasies painted on the large ceilings, including the “pastry-chef angel” that was to remain the symbol of the Ladurée shop. The Salone de thé Ladurée continued to be a symbol of reference in 19th-century Paris, becoming an important brand as well, thanks to the invention of the famous “Macarons” by Pierre Desfontaines. For its London facility inside the famous Harrods department store the Ladurée tearoom, entrusting its image to Studio Panetude, has chosen a look from the street that explicitly evokes its history. The facade custom-made by Marzorati Ronchetti is based on a regular compositional grid, organizing a decorative grammar with 19th-century overtones in the six resulting parts, with details in brass covered with gold leaf, including the central sign. The whole metal surface in press-formed sheet and the structural posts that contain the large glazings and the central double entrance door are painted in a soft sage green color, in tune with and complementary to the terracotta decorations of the Harrods facade.


Macro Museum
Odile Decq Benoît Cornette Architectes Urbanistes
Roma, 2010
Steel and backlit frosted glass


Born in 1955, winner of the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 1996, an “outsider” architect who teaches alongside the philosopher Paul Virilio, Odile Decq – who worked together with Benoît Cornette from 1985 to 1998 – has a place on the contemporary architecture scene that is constructively contradictory. Her architecture is incisive and sensual, bent on questioning the future and shaking up the present: “Space does not have a single center, perspectives are tangential and so they are always different. I work on the architectural section, because it reveals the non-visible, and I make it three-dimensional to create ‘Sensual Territories’ [the slogan of her winning design for the addition to the Macro museum, ed.] where the floors and roofs are cut, split, opened and brought to life by tectonic movements.” The Macro museum in Rome appears as a museumscape that reassembles the existing industrial structures of Società Birra Peroni, extending with a large glazed corner volume towards the city, drawing it into an enveloping, dynamic route that continues all the way to the roof, designed as a sort of large terrace-garden that rejects the introverted character usually assigned to museum buildings. The design of the furnishings, in this context, has a very important role. An architectural promenade is created in the internal spaces, where accessways and geometric forms flank the bright red perimeter of the large central conference room. Even the rest rooms for visitors are a part of the program, and the zone that contains the washstands, custom-made by Marzorati Ronchetti, is an unusual, surprising space with walls in mirror-finish steel that create an infinite perspective. The luminous washstands are the outstanding features, parallelepipeds clad with panes of frosted glass, backlit with white and red Leds, and with a sculptural top that creates sinuous hollows of great sculptural impact.


Phantom Restaurant all’Opéra Garnier
Odile Decq Benoît Cornette Architectes Urbanistes
Paris, 2011
Back-lit frosted glass and steel, mirror


The monumental theater of Opéra Garnier in Paris is one of the symbols of the French eclectic architecture of the second half of the 19th century, and of the radical urban transformations made by Napoleon II and implemented in a “military” manner by the prefect Haussmann. In this renowned monument of the city and of France as a whole, the new Phantom Restaurant (whose name refers to the famous novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, set precisely in the spaces of Palais Garnier) is the result of an architecture competition won by the studio of Odile Decq. The project involved a pavilion that is part of the theater but organized in an almost independent, separate way. It was previously known as the “subscribers’ rotunda,” and it sheltered the carriages of theatregoers as they arrived. In spite of the limited size, the design of the Phantom facility contains guidelines of great efficacy regarding methods of intervention in important historic buildings, indicating a design approach that maintains its contemporary character while proceeding with great care and total respect for the existing work. As Odile Decq explains: “The possibility of imagining a new space had to come to terms with the requirement of not touching walls, pillars and vaults of the host building.” The result is interior architecture conceived, in a certain sense, as “temporary,” ready for future dismantling without causing any damage to the structure that contains it. The washstands in the restrooms, custom made by Marzorati Ronchetti, reflect the overall philosophy of the project, as self-contained objects detached from the architectural enclosure. The glass parallelepiped lit from within contains the washstands on the upper surface, forming sculptural geometric hollows, while a large blade of two-sided mirrors is placed diagonally above the volume, also to reflect the surrounding space.


Yacht staircase
Rémi Tessier
2011
Stainless steel, wood


The contamination between seagoing interiors and landbound architecture can be seen today not only in the growth of the proportions of new yachts, easily surpassing the 50-meter mark, but also in the range of features inside boats, with spaces that allow for new approaches no longer based only on practical functioning for life at sea. The new measurements are now comparable, in fact, to those of the most exclusive residences. The idea seems to be to replace the “seaside villa,” no longer surrounded by idyllic landscapes, with the “floating villa” and its changing horizons. An exclusive home powered by big motors or “simply” by the wind, ready to act as a substitute for a dwelling on the terra firma, rivaling the latter in terms of comfort, freedom of use of spaces and excellence of design. The involvement of the culture of design and architecture in yacht interiors, once conservative havens of wood and brass, clinging to the canons of the “classic” English tradition, has radically changed the expressive scenario of the new spaces of contemporary yachts, in terms of both size and details. This staircase designed by Rémi Tessier fits right into this trend, thanks to its exceptional design, attention to detail and constructive perfection. With a semicircular form, it is contained by a stainless steel panel topped by an overhanging handrail, seamlessly marking the end of the surface. The wooden steps have steel edges, essential lines to prevent slipping on the overhanging border, below which a line of Led lights is inserted and concealed. The mirror finish of the steel triggers a game of reflections, giving an evocative image to the flight of steps.

P.I./C.F. 01901470136