make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend

make your fridays matter

Amelia Tavella’s debut furniture meanders elegantly like ‘an almost living animal’
The ‘A5951’ hybrid furniture designed by Corsican architect Ameilia Tavella
Image: Thibaut Dini, Courtesy of Amelia Tavella Architects

Amelia Tavella’s debut furniture meanders elegantly like ‘an almost living animal’

The Corsican architect's sculptural ‘A5951’ desk-bench hybrid in solid oak winds sinuously as an organic root, chasing ‘an infinite desire for poetry and beauty.’

by STIRpad
Published on : Sep 05, 2023

Corsican architect Amelia Tavella's buildings are known to exude sensuality, where materials are treated as skins, where a skilful composition of natural light is sculpted, as it filters through built apertures. Her architectural interventions are deeply inspired by the beautiful and natural built context of Corsica, emphasising interaction with the mountainous Mediterranean island’s geographical setting, those of ridges, valleys, scrublands, and maritime worlds. "Every time, it’s a question of movement, of torsion. The aim is not to bend nature, but to adapt to it, to respect it," she believes. In keeping with this approach, her debut furniture design called ‘A5951’ embraces the context of a vintage private residence and business in Ajaccio, in her native Corsica in France. “The name of the piece hides a code, just like the enigmatic plot embodied by Eileen Gray,” Tavella shares with STIR.

“I practice architecture as an art of freedom and constraint. Freedom to create and invent, constraint of space and materials. It’s a balance between two forces that are not adversaries, but that get along and complement each other like Siamese twins,” she continues.

Organic and dream-like, the seemingly continuous panel made of solid oak meanders gracefully through the space to occupy it, serving as a seat, support, and desk in its cohesive form. Tavella’s sculptural design exists in a seamless continuum, embracing freedom in its seemingly suspended mass. Delicately balanced between air and earth, its construction is simple and elegant, intentionally devoid of any visible connections, joints, or harsh unevenness. ‘A5951’ performs as both, furniture and sculpture, exuding a solid and organic quality, while encompassing elements both feminine and masculine, and evoking an essence of the primal as well as the sophisticated.

“The construction moves, undulates, arches. It is a witness to and mirror of the great landscape it greets—An infinite desire for poetry and beauty. It is furniture and sculpture, solid and organic, feminine and masculine, animal and living. It’s captured the space without cluttering it up, like the buildings of an architect-archaeologist who invents without undoing. Here, once again, is the expression of learned delicacy. The object is the child of buildings, schools, and convents. It has the texture, the profile, that responds to the geography,” the furniture designer elaborates.

The hybrid product design blends into the space to adapt to its vintage setting without tampering with it. "I conceived and built a unique, natural, and central work without constraint, a work within the existing work, a space within space, a link between host and guest, crossing the threshold to step towards a dream. The heart of Corsica beats here, in the silence and grandeur of its nature," the French architect adds.

Tavella likens the sinuous wooden furniture to an 'organic root,' providing rhythm to the space between the reception counter and the area reserved for discussions inside the private home. “Symbolically, it embodies the acquisition process. Made by cabinet-maker Abacus, it is a technical feat. Some parts are made of solid carved oak, others of steamed oak planks, giving them the desired shape. Sicab and Serra Constructions were responsible for the entire project,” the French designer relays.

In this classical interior, the wood employed for ‘A5951’ was meticulously crafted for the office and library, unfurling amid the walls of exposed stone, vis-a-vis, the solo piece of furniture. Whether on a larger or more intimate scale, Tavella’s personal touch remains evident as the furniture warmly embraces its users. It seamlessly merges function with artistry, the essence of what architecture truly means to her. "I designed a piece of furniture, curvilinear, an almost living animal. Its curves are feminine, its skin is oak, veined, and one-sided. The object is a marker of space, crossing it from side to side. Like a sinuous arm, this work counter links the interior to the exterior. It is functional, both desk and seat. It’s my first piece of furniture and the starting point for a creation that’s different from my buildings, but which reproduces the gesture of blending in with what is," the product designer asserts.

Tavella’s debut furniture witnesses the influence of her architectural works while remaining distinct in its contemporary design, "retaining a desire for aestheticism and a fusion with the site. I worked in this imaginary world, delivering a topographical, geographical map, in the lair of a place of reference, the megaphone of a sinuous, bewitching island,” she concludes.

(Text by Aatmi Chitalia, Intern at STIR)

What do you think?

Comments Added Successfully!