“We feel the fascination of such a contemporary design and intercultural place, a crossroads where art and creativity can thrive. We believe that by mingling different creative approaches and combining seemingly opposing worlds, we can develop incredible interior designs,” expresses Maria Porro, head of communication and marketing for Porro. To mark the debut of its new showroom at the Coal Office in the King’s Cross District, the Italian brand arrives in the capital city of UK for the London Design Festival 2022. The district sits at the heart of London with a rich historic and cultural fabric engrained in it. As a design district for LDF 2022, it hosts a variety of historic landmarks and buildings amongst which nearly 20 buildings have been restored and occupied at present, including the Coal Office.
Punctuated with clean lines, elemental forms, exquisite craftsmanship and researched-backed innovation, Porro’s design typography is evident in their recently unveiled Coal Office showroom. Nestled within the beautiful brick architecture along the bend of the Regent's Canal where designer Tom Dixon's headquarters are located, Porro chose the showroom’s location for the resonance that the space has with their personality.
Under Maria Porro's guidance, Porro will designate the space as both a showroom and an office for developing new, tailor-made projects that will push their creative drive and consciousness even further. “This space has been created to establish a dialogue with architects, interior designers and customers in London who want to live and work in custom-designed spaces, where the artisan care for details matches the precision, reliability and quality of the industry,” says Maria.
Post the elaborate display of their products in Milan, during the Milan Design Week 2022, Porro will now be displaying a wide variety of its contemporary furniture design, courtesy of all the collaborative designers at the London outlet. In addition to many other interior solutions and designs, the storage wardrobe and dressing room system by the Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni + Porro CRS offers a sleek profile that lets you arrange open compartments alongside areas covered by doors with maximum flexibility. The optical lightness is further reinforced by the transparent corner solution. While the product design is a clear accentuation of high-quality workmanship, the material and contextual references for the storage system are from an ancient Japanese technique called Sou Sugi Ban, which is used to protect cedar wood by burning it with charcoal. Accompanying the black charcoal finish for the wooden furniture are Porro’s black-painted metal frames with matt ink-black surfaces.
The light embedded inside the shelf accentuates and follows the lines of the storage graphic design, transforming it into an apparel theatre. With a well-concealed wireless lighting system, the structure's clean lines and aesthetics get illuminated. Porro developed and thoroughly incorporated all the technological features, transforming the shelves into lighting design fixtures with light that can be changed at two different temperatures.
The Italian brand creates a sense of domestic appeal with a reading corner featuring Nicola Gallizia’s Lullaby armchair. The chair design offers a sophisticated and highly detailed outlook comprising the black-stained and ornately curved solid ash frame and the tight-fitting upholstery in a brick-coloured cloth. The armchair is placed alongside Piero Lissoni’s Offshore dresser in a contrasting moon-white open-pore painted ash exterior. The drawers of the dresser are designed in birch plywood plated with natural maple and are equipped with a double extraction guide for a comfortable and complete opening.
Another iconic creation by Piero Lissoni for Porro is the Brina Stool, which is the tall version of his Neve chair. The stool, available in two heights, has slightly slanted, tapered legs with a low curved backrest and suspended seats in black-stained solid ash. Furthermore, the Load-it bookshelving system by Wolfgang Tolk will also adorn Porro’s retail space as an iconic invention from 1995. Distinguished by protruding shelves slicing through space, the system has successfully preserved its strong identity while progressively acquiring new functions and design options.
The Load-it bookshelf with all-steel shelves and tops, together with the Modern Desktop in black-stained ash, dresses up the surface, imbues the room with a modern personality. The concept is to improve a transition area by incorporating a book shelving solution with a home-working station and integrated lighting, which consists of magnetic spotlights that can be positioned at will along the electrified profile under the shelf.
For the dining and the meeting room, Porro’s ongoing research in materials, manufacturing techniques and combinations of shapes that evoke emotions is displayed with Lissoni’s Materic table. The table was designed by Piero Lissoni in 2017 with the idea of experimenting with the versatility of matter through basic geometries. The tapered round top in Paonazzo marble on a truncated cone base is well paired with the abstract charm of the Denmark-based Product designer duo at GamFratesi’s Romby armchairs. The truncated cone base in solid natural ash, with a flared form and wood slices carved in an excellent cabinet-making exercise, complements the swivel, soft and compact cushioned seat in fabric or leather. This concept corresponds perfectly with Porro's universe, which has always been defined by clean lines and fine Italian craftsmanship.
Everything you need to know about London Design Festival 2022. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival takes over the city of London with installations, exhibitions, and talks from major design districts such as Brompton, Shoreditch Design Triangle, Greenwich Peninsula, Design London, Clerkenwell Design Trail, Park Royal, Mayfair, Bankside, King's Cross, William Morris Line, and Islington.