This year I had an amazing birthday present on Christmas Eve.
It was the great exhibit of Antonello da Messina at the MART Museum of Rovereto, near Trent. I really enjoyed this experience. The exhibition layout was clear and each piece was well arranged. I very much like all Antonello’s works, but, this time, I was especially impressed by one of them.
The Annunciata (Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo) is one of my favorite pictures. More than an work of art, it seems to be a poem or even a prayer. In such a small dimension (about 35×45 cm) you can see the essence and the spirit of the Italian Renaissance.
It’s a perfect portrait. It’s not only a realistic picture like the Flemish ones, but also a perfect expression of the great achievement of Italian painting.
When Diego Paccagnella, the founder of Design-Apart, told us that we were invited to IDEO in Mercer Street (Soho, NYC) we were so excited. To be honest, we were a little bit worried about it. As architects we are more confident with a pencil in our hands than as lecturers. We are not used to public speaking at all!
On the other hand, we felt that we have something in common with those IDEO guys. We have a passion for Design and the same interests in the creative process (we love the last book by David and Tom Kelley “Creative Confidence”) and the design-thinking behind every human activity.
We were asked to tell our story; not only the experience with Design-apart, but also our core-business, which is strongly related to our creative process as architects and entrepreneurs. We considered this to be our approach, both artistic and scientific, and our integrated “end-to-end” method (from the first idea to the turnkey Interior) might capture their interest. Continue reading
We are proud to announce that just a few days after the opening our Living Showroom is in The New York Times! It is a great unsuspected achievement for Ermesponti and all the others producers of Design- Apart !
This is only the first step of a great adventure! Design-Apart partners with 20 small-medium but highly specialized Italian companies: Ermesponti Bespoke Interiors, TM Italia, Berto, Exnovo, Elica, Marrone Cutom Cooking, MiIlldue, Zucchetti Kos, Technogel Sleeping, Techlab Italia, MenottiSpecchia, Renata Bonfanti, Bosa, Secondome, B-Stone, Segno Italiano,A.M. Ricami, Servomuto, Giovanni Casellato, Magis.
I would very much like to talk about a crucial question asked by one of the journalists during the Opening: “What have you at Ermesponti in common with the other companies”? Continue reading
Finally, last friday, we opened!
We totally agree with the first impression of our friend, Filippo Berto about the most relevant characteristic of the new Living Showroom of Design-Apart in 110 W 25th St New York. The atmosphere was amazing. You immediately felt at home. And what a home! The spirit and the essence of a contemporary Italian home in NYC!
We are very proud to be part of this newborn adventure and to have strongly contributed to the achieving of this “Italian dream”, which is supposed to export not only products of Italian design but also our high standard of Bespoke Interiors.
Since we joined Design-Apart we put all our efforts- and maybe more- into launching this project. This was from the very first sketch to the actual drawing, to organizing the works on site and the complete installation. Now we understand we were right. The only way to show this new era of Bespoke Design is to have a real experience of it. This is Diego Paccagnella‘s great idea: no more lifeless showroom filled with cold furniture, but a real loft where people live!
Our mission as Italians is to promote our idea of creativity and our products “designed and made in Italy”. This can really become the new business model of the Italian Future of the Craftsmen( Futuro Artigiano by Stefano Micelli docet).
Can this team of small, but highly specialized Italian companies change the world of Interior Design? We are confident that we can.
This is just a console table story. First, the idea on a sketch. I talked about it with our master carpenter, Alberto, and we decided together some details. He selected the solid wood and began to cut and work on it. In a few days it was completed. A parchment top on four solid wood slanted legs and a glass tray supported by a wooden cross below.
In my opinion this is a little piece of “ebanisteria” ( the highest level of cabinet making).
It is so beautiful: each detail is so much cared about that is just perfect. Just a glance at it, before it is packed: it is hard to let it go, I wish it was been made for me. Continue reading
But can we call it just wall paneling? Indeed, it is a paneling because the beautiful whitened oak veneer incredibly continues for all it’s length. But inside you find: an entire closet, the main entrance of the loft, the emergency exit to the building’s stairs, a small laundry, some kitchen cupboards with ovens and appliances and finally a small pantry.
The design of this piece it takes us more time than all the others because it depends from appliances chosen by the customer (see a beautiful sketch).
It almost puzzles us to find a place for the huge washing and dryer machine and every single appliance like oven or coffee machine and whatever…
The final design is not a bad compromise of those different functions: it comes from them and it is like a “Mondrian” abstract outline. The wow effect certainly comes when you open all the doors and see what is inside this huge plane wooden surface! Guess how we managed it…like we do for yachts!
The media cabinet is a huge piece of our production and hosts all the media devices of the loft and a hidden opening to the freight elevator( Please see our 3D drawing compared to the picture above). You can find it in front of the entrance door of the loft and it is definitely the most important piece of the loft furniture. Actually it is not a simply piece of furniture , but it is part of the loft’s interior. ( it s impossible to move it away from here!) It is designed like a portal of solid Italian walnut stripes with a big niche in the centre. The portal is aligned with the main beam of the ceiling and the AC duct is covered in the upper part behind it. The niche has a glass backdrop divided in two ( the doors to the freight elevator): the glass sandwich panel is made of two glass layers – transparent the first, opaque the other- with a linen fabric inside.
I personally choose and put together each peace of solid wood (see picture below) that Silvio cut by hand. It is very impressive.
One year ago we choose to add a motto to our company name “designed+made+to measure” because we wanted to underline the end-to-end process, from the very first interior design idea to making and installing the furniture on site. Those three words seemed to describe our work properly.
However, recently we realized that our job is not just to make furniture. We design and build specific-location interiors.
We have discovered that our interiors are not comparable to a made-to-measure suit, but rather to a bespoke suit. The made-to-measure suit is a standard model with some adjustments made for the customer, whereas the bespoke one is completely designed and made to order according to customer specifications. The first needs a good shop assistant, but the second one a highly skilful tailor. So now, our motto has become “bespoke interiors”.
The starting point is a white sheet of paper and a pencil. In front of us there are both the client’s requirements and the location. Our architects talk to clients and at the same time they make a thorough survey of the location – a total survey – which is not just measuring, but collecting both general informations and small details needed to draw sketches, plans and 3D drawings. We share our ideas with the client and step by step fulfill his expectations.
Then we do actual drawings to coordinate the work done on site with making furniture. We take care of the installation and of the deadlines to be met. The overall aim is to make the customer feel he or she is in the right place. This is what the idea of bespoke interiors with ermesponti actually means. Make the ermesponti experience.
Exactly: in 29 days the bespoke interiors are ready to be shipped to New York!
Of course Paolo and I supervise all the making process of what we have just designed. There is only a glass door between our office and the workshop. We often go in and out to check everything is done perfectly and take some picture of each manufacturing phase to share with both Diego and the Design-Apart team and Chris, the client. Indeed, the streaming helps us to inform very rapidly everyone involved in the project about the production and let them take part of it even though they are actually very far away.
Chris is amazed: just back from his summer holidays, he finds the photo-streaming and sees his furniture during the making. He simply writes: wow!
WE ARE WORKING FOR YOU!
After two months dedicated to the design, the survey and the executive project finally we are cutting the first piece of solid wood!
Yesterday, Silvio ( one of ermesponti master-carpenter) has begun to select and cut the old Italian walnut trees that will cover the main entrance wall of the first Flatiron loft signed by Design- Apart!
We are proud to share with you this amazing project and each single phase of it!
In the meantime Giuseppina – our seamstress- and Ermes Ponti – in person- are choosing, cutting and stitching together the oak veneers for the paneling between the living room and the kitchen.
Yes, you understood well: we are not only interior and bespoke furniture designers; we also produce every single piece exclusively for you, around each need or dream you may have.
We design as a stylist and produce as a tailor; but in between, even the fabric we select and weave it for you. You know, every tree is different like every man it is.
Are you ready to see the very first Italian bespoke loft in NY?
Wait for a few weeks; we are coming soon before Central Park Autumn leaves are fallen!
Follow us also on Design Apart’s website: http://design-apart.com