Dezeen Magazine

Tonale by David Chipperfield for Alessi

British architect David Chipperfield has designed a collection of tableware with colours inspired by an Italian painter and forms inspired by ancient Korean stoneware.


The Tonale range, for Italian brand Alessi, draws on the paintings of Italian artist Giorgio Morandi for its muted tones.


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This new table service presented by Alessi is designed by British architect David Chipperfield. Starting from a product developed in preceding years and inspired by Oriental ceramics, “Tonale” is a modern and sophisticated table service that has been designed in accordance with the study of colours by Italian painter Giorgio Morandi.


“The “Tonale” table service is an apparently random collection of typologically ambiguous objects”, says the designer. “The units in the range are made in a variety of materials, such as metal, glass and wood, maintaining their expressive purity, and at the same time meeting the requirements essential for a durable, practical and versatile service”.


Materials and colours are the two main assets of the service and invite the user to arrange the objects on the table so that they can be seen as a whole. The stoneware ceramic pieces come in tonal colours: light grey, light earth, dark grey, red earth, white earth, white yellow and pale yellow. The series is completed by an enamelled steel tray shaded in a dark green colour and available in a single rectangular size.

The units are interchangeable and they create a colour harmony that blends perfectly as a table setting. The generously-proportioned plates, which have raised rims to contain foods more effectively, are made in three different sizes as are the bowls. They can be accompanied by a small circular wooden chopping board which could also be used as a fruit dish or bread board. The goblet, also in stoneware, vaguely recalls Mediaeval table settings.

The service is accompanied by a carafe with a large water glass in crystalline glass that conjures up memories of traditional milk bottles. All items in the service are oven-safe, which further extends the range of their possible functions.

With “Tonale”, David Chipperfield has transformed everyday items that we often view and treat casually into very special objects worthy of our care and consideration.