Design history rediscovered: Molteni&C reissues Ignazio Gardella’s ‘Blevio’ table
The 1930 design by Ignazio Gardella is now part of the company’s growing Heritage Collection, which gives new life to iconic designs from the past
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.
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.
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.’ §