Dezeen Magazine

Infinity 12, an alabaster chandelier by Alain Ellouz

Galerie Philia presents design exhibition in New York's Walker Tower

Studio Noon's chubby pink concrete chair and an alabaster infinity chandelier star in Galerie Philia's exhibition of furniture design set in an apartment inside New York City's art deco Walker Tower.

Completed in the Chelsea neighbourhood in 1929 by American architect Ralph Walker, the Walker Tower was restored and converted into apartments in 2013.

A wide angle view of one of the rooms in the exhibition
Top: Infinity 12 by Alain Ellouz. Above: Walker Tower boasts panoramic views of Manhattan

Named Galerie Philia at Walker Tower, the show is co-curated by architect and designer Pietro Franceschini and the anonymous founder of furniture gallery Galerie Philia.

The exhibition showcases over 70 works by 40 international designers.

A stool cum side table featured in Rooms' Life on Earth collection
Rooms' furniture is featured in the exhibition

Presented works include Infinity 12, an alabaster chandelier resembling a tunnel of smoke by Alain Ellouz, and a stool which is also a side table, handcrafted from subvolcanic rock by Georgian design duo Rooms as part of their Life on Earth collection.

"The common thread between the works can be expressed in a few key words: neutral colours, minimal but not reductive, and incredible craftsmanship," Franceschini told Dezeen.

A chubby pink chair by Studio Noon
This chubby pink chair is one of two plump pieces offered by Studio Noon

The exhibition space comprises a loft-style apartment spread across two floors of Walker Tower. This backdrop intends to straddle both a gallery and a real, liveable apartment. 

The curators' specific focus is how the works on display interact with each other, rather than the styling of the apartment itself.

A floor lamp that looks like handfuls of matchsticks
Einstein is a lamp made by Jérôme Pereira

"The idea was to establish a dialogue between the art deco architecture of the building, the omnipresent New York skyline and the collectible art and design pieces," said Galerie Philia's founder.

Set against white walls, the majority of the pieces share a colour palette of black, white and brass.

Gold Arch Console is a table by Pietro Franceschini
Furniture by Franceschini himself is exhibited, such as Gold Arch Console

Einstein by Jérôme Pereira is an elegant floor lamp made of glass and wood resembling a cluster of matchsticks. Gold Arch Console, a brass table by Franceschini, is also exhibited.

Torn is a high console table in black wood by Lucas Morten, also featured alongside Goddess, a brass sconce light fixture by Paul Matter.

Paul Matter has designed a sconce light fixture
Goddess is a brass sconce lamp by Paul Matter

A separate pastel-themed bedroom displays objects softly tinted in yellow, green and pink.

These include a chubby chair and equally as plump stool named Elephante by Studio Noon, both made in light pink pigmented cement. Laurids Gallée's Green Console, a translucent green resin table, also features in the pastel bedroom.

A separate pastel bedroom features furniture like this stool
Studio Noon's Elephante stool

As co-curators, Franceschini and Galerie Philia's founder are confident that minimalist design does not have to be reductive, despite acknowledging that this can often be the case. Their exhibition, they say, is different.

"Our minimalism is clear in its initial statement, but it also has a narrative that goes beyond a first impression," explained Franceschini.

"Materiality and detail entice the viewer to look more closely," he said of the works exhibited.

Gestalt Bench by Frederik Bogaerts and Jochen Sablon and White Butterfly Stools by Cedric Breisacher
The exhibition's curation considers objects in relation to each other

"What brings these works together as a coherent ensemble is their intrinsic quality, both aesthetic and conceptual," continued Galerie Philia's founder.

The Walker Tower is what Franceschini considers the ideal contrasting backdrop to the minimalist exhibition, with its "hybrid of brick volumes and metal ornamentation."

Senufo Ottoman Natural by Arno Declercq and Kub Chair by Lucas Morten
The exhibition space is designed to appear as both a gallery and a liveable apartment

In other gallery news, Jonathan Tuckey Design has converted a mews house into an art gallery in Paddington, London. David Chipperfield Architects has added a limestone-clad extension to the Kunsthaus Zurich museum in Switzerland.

Galerie Philia is a contemporary design and modern art gallery, representing both emerging and established designers and artists internationally. Pietro Franceschini is an architect and designer who runs his own furniture and interior design practice.

Photography is courtesy of Galerie Philia.

Galerie Philia at Walker Tower will run from 15 February – 20 May. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

More images

Works displayed in the apartment at Walker Tower
An image from the pastel bedroom
A scene of collectible items from the exhibition
Edifice table lamp by Elisa Uberti
More details from the exhibition space
A corridor showing Studio Noon's chubby chair displayed
Corps Celeste & Telluric Sculptures by Sylvia Eustache Rools and Jerome Pereira
Bling Bling Chair by Pietro Franceschini
Lawless by Evan Fay
Miami Floor Lamp by Rooms
Oak Bunker Candleholder by Arno Declercq
Sefuno side table/stool by Arno Delercq
Opera table lamp by Elisa Uberti
Ambigue pedestal and coffee table by Frederic Saulou
Ensemble of 3 Mono Block Chairs by Isac Elam Kaid
Coat Rack by J M Szymanski
Porcelain Ceramic Artwork by Jojo Corvaia
Green Console by Laurids Gallee
Torn high console table by Lucas Morten
Landscape, sofa by Nina Edwards
A chair by Rick Owens
STAG T by Rick Owens
Charme Table Lamp by Sander Bottinga
Corsica Tower by Vince Skelly
Gamia series of sculpted vessels Core by Willem Van Hooff
Army of Me solid bronze candle holders by William Guillon