David Chipperfield presents cabinets referencing Greek architecture at David Gill Gallery

| 11 comments

Architect David Chipperfield has designed a series of bronze, steel and glass bookshelves and cabinets for his first gallery collaboration with David Gill.

David Chipperfield Ionic

On display at the David Gill Gallery in London's Mayfair, the pieces contain elements that reference the architecture of Ancient Greece. They also give the collection its name, Ionic – one of the three orders of Classical Architecture, along with Doric and Corinthian.

David Chipperfield Ionic

The blackened steel shelves of the cabinets and bookcases rest on a bronze framework that uses slender supporting poles.



The cylindrical rods are fluted to represent the Ionic columns, and are capped with flat sections on either end so they can be fixed to the horizontal sections of the frame.

David Chipperfield Ionic

The cabinets have sliding doors made of strengthened rippled glass – with both transparent and opaque versions on display – which is repeated in the sides and back of the bookshelves.

David Chipperfield Ionic

Chipperfield – who recently unveiled plans for the renovation of the Royal Academy of Art – told Dezeen the exhibition was a chance to create furniture that was free from the usual restrictions dictated by the marketplace.

David Chipperfield Ionic

"With David Gill, we were able to operate outside the conventional commercial furniture system – it was strange and yet very interesting," he said. "I still wanted to make a utilitarian object but didn't see utility as its primary concern – or the economy of means."



"I didn't have to worry about how it was made, just to make something beautiful out of beautiful materials such as casting and bronze, things that normally lie beyond the possibilities of the commercial process and invest the object with a strong physical presence," he added.

David Chipperfield Ionic

The architect has designed several other furniture pieces this year, including a table, bench and stool from wooden planks for German furniture brand e15.

David Chipperfield Ionic

David Gill – who established his central London gallery in 1987 – is no stranger to collaborations with architects, having previously shown Zaha Hadid's Liquid Glacial furniture collection.

Work from Fredrikson Stallard and Mattia Bonetti has also been shown at the gallery. The Ionic exhibition is on display until 3 October 2015.

David Chipperfield Ionic

Glass has been a popular choice for furniture this year, with designs by Patricia Urquiola, Tokujin Yoshioka and Nendo all revealed during Milan design week in April.

  • Guest

    After that Nobel building, shop in New York, and now this, I’d dearly like to know if the shiny gold look has become Chipperfield’s motif. If it has, it will desolate me to say that my devotion is at an end.

    • Guest

      It’s bronze, not gold.

      • Guest

        Of course it isn’t gold. Your clue was “look”. Doh!

        • Guest

          Well, polished bronze pales in comparison to the cost of gold, which is what you are insinuating. Chipperfield is a high-end architect who designs luxurious buildings/objects for wealthy clients. Get over it.

          And I highly doubt “shiny gold” has become Chipperfield’s motif. Valentino is one of the most luxurious fashion brands in the world. I doubt they would have approved recycled plastic shelving to display the clothing against.

          The Nobel Prize comes with an actual gold medal, so I would assume the “shiny gold” facade is a reference nod to the medal. And lastly, this is a piece of furniture with bronze legs… a material used in furniture for ages.

          To be honest, I am glad to see Chipperfield using some colour in his projects.

          • Guest

            Judging from this long-winded reply, you understand exactly what I was saying, but obviously choose not to.

          • Guest

            That you are jealous of a successful architect? Go back to your cubicle or classroom.

          • Sim

            It becomes a bit confusing if you all call yourself GUEST. As if you are a schizophrenic with an internal dialogue at odds with itself.

          • Guest

            You’re now becoming absurd.

    • Sim

      My devotion (I was never really devoted) ended with the 700m2 country house for TWO people. That somehow got a prize for “house of the year” from someone.

      • Guest

        Yes, I groaned at that one. Oh, those pillars! But more importantly, in houses of such scale the interior architecture almost gets lost. David Chipperfield’s lovely ceiling-height doors against white painted brick haven’t anywhere near the impact they’d have in a human scale 150m2 house.

  • Thiv

    Greek architecture is not sterile.