Bouroullec brothers forge wrought-iron frames for Officina furniture
Milan 2015: French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have used the ancient technique of iron forging to create frames for a range of chairs and tables (+ movie).
The Bouroullec brothers created the Officina collection for Italian furniture brand Magis.
The wrought-iron legs of the chairs and tables were shaped with forging – one of the oldest metalwork processes that involves hammering a metal alloy on an anvil to shape it while hot and malleable, then cooling so it hardens.
"We wanted to work with this ancient fabrication process and give it a new visual language," said the duo.
After the iron bars have been shaped, they are bolted together to create the frames, which are either left raw to show the tool marks or powder-coated black.
"The surface of wrought iron is alive and imperfect, which lends the objects a special vibration," the Bouroullecs said. "By reflecting the random, mechanical traces of the tools that gave them shape, these pieces bring a breath of fresh air to the industrial scheme."
For each design, two metal bars are bent to hook over horizontal supports, and form four angled legs.
The basic frames provide support for a variety of square, circular and rectangular table tops, created from materials including steel, wood and glass.
Chairs in the collection have separate curved backs and seats made from injection-moulded plastic or upholstered with leather. There's also a simple stool designed to match.
The collection will be presented at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in Milan next week. It follows a series of previous designs by the Bouroullecs for Magis, including a slender ash chair and an aluminium sideboard.
Photography is by Studio Bouroullec.