This spring, in a bold and playful move, Achille Salvagni transforms his Atelier in Mayfair into a sumptuous retro-futuristic space capsule inspired by iconic 1960s science fiction set designs.
Fascinated by the advent of space tourism and visually enticed by Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey, Salvagni draws upon the late maverick’s film to create his own spacecraft. The carefully curated composition features three new pieces as well as a fine selection of works from the designer’s classic collection, each given a new dimension in this eye-catching space age environment.
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Salvagni sets the tone with an all-white floor, ceiling and panelled walls dotted with a pair of portholes that look out into space. The minimal monochrome background is enhanced by the earthy and metallic tones of Salvagni’s signature pieces, crafted from natural materials such as onyx, 24K gold-plated bronze and European walnut. Against the stark white background, organic textures and soft curves are juxtaposed with geometric forms, exploring the harmony between past and future, tradition and innovation.
In the front room, the classic Spider chandelier in white patinated cast bronze and back lit onyx dominates the space, stretching out into the void with its impressive six arms. The Emerald and Menhir side tables, conversing with one another, become futuristic emblems, almost carved out of singular blocks of materials from outer space. Balancing the sharp angles are the softer, almost alien-like Papillia armchairs, a new version of the successful dining chair first shown last year by Salvagni. These creations, with their delicate six-leg supports are evocative of extra-terrestrial life-forms. The new Bubbles wall sconces playfully revisit the original design conceived for Jeff Koons, while a set of Brancaleone wall sconces are suspended like celestial objects. Two cabinets, Silk and Roma, complement the space, their organic forms and noble materials demonstrating Salvagni’s masterful attention to detail and unmatched quality of craftsmanship.
Moving into the second room, wood panelled walls give way to a night sky as the Simposio chandelier, hanging from the ceiling, gives the impression of an orbiting moon. The new Pietra coffee table in Alpacca and Lacewood is the key piece of this module, with its asymmetric shape alluding to a mysterious meteorite. Atlante and Calipso, a delicate pair of candleholders in a carved onyx block and cast bronze base with a burnished finish, convey an otherworldly feeling. Completing the collection, the Cosmedin side table’s surface recalls the marbled appearance of planets as seen from space.
As Salvagni explains ‘I admire the ground-breaking production design of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the visionary atmospheres of 1960s science-fiction movies in general. As commercial space tourism takes shape, I wanted to create my own interpretation of a space capsule. I wanted to imagine a futuristic yet opulent interior with highly crafted pieces, create a personal response to the imminent exploration of this unchartered territory, another marvel soon to be revealed.’