Kaari by the Bouroullecs 04.02.15

  • All the pieces share an element in common: a piece of steel bent into a triangle

  • The legs are placed symmetrically or side-by-side, depending on the object

  • The triangular element started as a table leg

  • Flat wooden panels in various sizes, shapes and finishes sit on top of the legs

  • The surfaces are finished in matt linoleum and glossy, high-pressure laminate

A steel triangle is the common element in the designers' set of furniture for Finnish brand Artek. Read about the collection, which was launched yesterday (3 February 2015) at Stockholm Furniture Fair, and watch our video interview with the French brothers at the top of Richard Rogers' Cheesegrater

A curved length of steel is the central element of a collection of furniture by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, launched yesterday (3 February 2015) at Stockholm Furniture Fair.

The collection is the French brothers' first for Finnish furniture company Artek, co-founded by Alvaar Aalto, and follows closely after another collaboration with a Finnish brand: their series of vases for Iittala, which was launched late last year.

The Bouroullecs' latest pieces use an equally simple design language – they are based around a single shape: a piece of steel bent to form a triangle. Initially, this was devised as a table leg, but it soon became apparent that it could be used to support wall-mounted elements, too.

 

Words

Debika Ray

Icon interviewed the Bouroullecs about their inspiration and their working practices after they won the 2014 London Design Medal at the top of the Leadenhall building

The resulting functional yet elegant series, Kaari ("arch" in Finnish), comprises rectangular and round tables in two sizes, a desk, a wall console, a small round shelf and larger shelves. All the pieces share this comment simple, element – the triangular metal leg – in combination with wooden surfaces of various shapes, sizes, colours and finishes that form table tops or shelves.

"The principle is simple: the vertical load is supported by a wooden part and a bent steel band embraces the contours of this solid wooden piece," the brother say. "The steel band draws a kind of wing bracket-angle that supports the ensemble and creates a linear and rhythmic silhouette."

The legs are placed symmetrically like wings to prop up the larger, rectangular surfaces and side-by-side to support objects that sit flat against the wall. The surface materials include matt linoleum and glossy, high-pressure laminate, which absorb or reflect light in different ways. Over time, the surface of the materials will develop a patina.

   

quotes story

All the pieces employ a metal triangle in combination with wooden surfaces of various shapes, sizes, colours and finishes

kaari 1

All the pieces share an element in common: a piece of steel bent into a triangle

The designers were asked to create a range for Artek that fitted with its repertoire – known for its simplicity – but did not explicitly reference its existing products. The Bouroullecs' use of traditional materials such as steel and wood are in line with the brand's reputation and Aalto also used modular components such as the bent wood L-leg to support furniture components.

However, the contrast between the solid wooden elements and the metal supports give the objects a light appearance and distinctive, modern silhouette.

Watch Icon's interview with Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec in the video above, conducted at the top of Rogers, Stirk, Harbour and Parters' Leadenhall Building in the City of London after the design duo won the 2014 London Design Medal

kaari drawing

Initial designs for Kaari by the Bouroullecs

   

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