Enzo Mari, Antonio Citterio and the RDAI studio recently joined Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director of Hermès, to design a complete furniture collection for the iconic French maison. Sofas, chairs, tables and other pieces accompany wallpapers and furnishing fabrics. Opulent materials like precious wood, leather and fine fabric are central to the project, come only second to their approach to design around the essential needs of comfort and and basic function.
In the quest for the best quality, the team chose Dedar to head up the manufacturing and distribution of fabrics and wallpaper, while B&B Italia is their preferred partner for the development and construction of the contemporary furniture.
To reveal these new collections, Dumas tapped Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines to create a temporary and ethereal home. Cardboard tubes and paper were the only materials used in the poetic Pavillon Hermès, on view in Milan during the recent Design Week. Using the words of Jean Cocteau, this installation represented "the invisibility of true elegance."
De Gastines began his career with Frank Gehry and since then has created thermal spas, holiday cottages, residences and numerous wine stores in the Médoc and French Basque country, as well as in South Africa. Since 2000, de Gastines has collaborated with Ban on all of his European work.
Born in Tokyo, Ban studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, and then at NYC's Cooper Union School of Architecture, where developed an interest in "architectonic poetics."
Available in Autumn 2011, the collections will be sold exclusively in a selection of Hermès boutiques worldwide.