Italian furniture company Molteni&C succeeds in a rare feat: promoting contemporary design through collaborations with the likes of Michael Anastassiades and Jasper Morrison, and preserving the legacy of design’s legends, from Gio Ponti to Aldo Rossi through its Heritage Collection. The company’s painstaking work in collaboration with foundations and archives has brought back to life icons of the past that have been lovingly revisited and seamlessly integrated into a contemporary design collection. 

Drawing of the Blevio Table by Ignazio Gardella
A drawing of the ‘Blevio’ table by Ignazio Gardella, from the Gardella Historical Archive. Image courtesy Molteni&C

Ignazio Gardella’s ‘Blevio’ table is the latest addition to this ongoing portfolio of reissues, in collaboration with the Gardella Historical Archive. Originally designed in 1930, the table was a unique piece conceived by the architect for his family home, Villa Usuelli in Blevio, on the shores of Lake Como. The design, which a note from the company fittingly describes as ‘harmonious and timeless, combining the purest features and intrinsic simplicity’, is simply characterised by an elongated top with curved edges, supported by semi-cylinders on each side.

While the original table was coated in copper (a material that would be difficult to use in contemporary furniture manufacturing), Molteni&C’s research and development team substituted it with a metal powder varnish to create the same shine achieved by Gardella, but with greater resistance. For the tabletop, two versions are available, a wood top with a metal powder varnish as well as Breccia Capraia marble.

Blevio table with marble top, from Molteni&C
A detail of the Breccia Capraia marble tabletop

The formal, sculptural simplicity of the ‘Blevio’ table looks surprisingly modern for a design created nearly a century ago. While at Villa Usuelli, the table was part of richly decorated environments, its new iteration imagines it as a transversal piece that can adapt to a multitude of spaces. 

‘The Heritage Collection is forward-looking, as it safeguards the group’s artistic and cultural heritage for future appreciation,’ continues the company’s statement. ‘A duty of choice, a legacy to be treasured and enhanced.’ §

Black and white image of Ignazio Gardella’s Villa Usuelli from 1950s
‘Blevio’ table photographed at Villa Usuelli in the 1950s
Detail of table with metal powder varnish top, from Molteni&C
‘Blevio’ table with metal powder varnish top