March 21, 2017

Achille Salvagni's Pompeii Collection Sets to Debut in London

Italian architect and designer Achille Salvagni sets to debut Pompeii in his London Atelier. The timeless furniture collection, inspired by Rome's historical periods, will soon be available at Maison Gerard.

by New York Spaces

Paolo Petrignani
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

NYS: We are so excited about your forthcoming collection Pompeii, set to debut in London in late March. What can you tell us about it?

Achille Salvagni: We have set the show around the idea of a Dressing Room, a very intimate place in one's home. The sense of privacy is thus heightened by how the pieces serve as jewels in this secret treasure box. The impressive centerpiece to Pompeii is Diomede, a cast-bronze console table with marble top, a fitting homage to a Neocassical painting of Villa Diomede in Pompeii. Diomede 's base is crafted from 24-karat, gold-plated bronze and forms a beautiful curve that sits delicately on two feet. Tato Chaise, a new work, is an elegant chaise lounge in smooth velvet crafted from European walnut with a French polished finish structure and cast bronze details. The back of the chair recalls stylish aeronautical design from the 1920's and its forms take inspiration from a previous design.

Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

Also making its debut is Gio Louro Faia, a double-door bar cabinet in Louro Faia with a polished and protected smooth brass top, inset handles and decoration. Gio Louro Faia has tapered legs in a burnished bronze. This is a new version of the now iconic Gio cabinet, originally designed in homage to Gio Ponti.

NYS: What about the ancient city of Pompeii inspired you to create a spring collection named after it?

Achille Salvagni: I am continually inspired by the many historical periods of Rome and this time I looked slightly further afield towards Pompeii. I was always struck by the famous fresco in the Tomb of the Diver. The simplicity of its line is so relevant even now. I used this as my starting point and articulated the monumentality of Pompeiian forms but re-contextualized it for a contemporary interior.

Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

NYS: What materials and colors came up when you thought about Pompeii? How did you incorporate them into your collection?

Achille Salvagni: The muted color palette of pale greens, earthy reds, burnt oranges, blushes and blues of Pompeiian villas directed the mood of this new show. table with marble top, a fitting homage to a Neocassical painting of Villa Diomede in Pompeii. I explored more varying ways to use this particular wood which has a reptilian quality about it. I wanted people to connect with the tactility of the different surfaces.

NYS: How does your soon-to-debut collection relate to previous collections?

Achille Salvagni: I only introduce one to three new pieces each time we have a show. So, in some ways, it's one ever

Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

-growing collection. I do this because I want it them to fit in with the existing oeuvre of my larger body of work.

NYS: We have heard wonders of your 24k gold-plated, cast-bronze console table, Diomede. What was the inspiration for this design?

Achille Salvagni: Carved stone capitals of columns left in Pompeii struck a chord with me and I wanted to acknowledge how beautiful they are even as archaeological remnants.

NYS: What is one of your favorite pieces in your new collection and why?

Achille Salvagni: How can you have a favorite child?

NYS: Where will consumers be able to find the new collection?

Achille Salvagni: My pieces are available through Maison Gerard in New York City. I use the London atelier as my laboratory and introduce new ideas. Through July 5th my latest interests are on view.

Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

NYS: Off subject, How did you get your start designing yachts and how did that lead to more mainstream design jobs? What have you found to be the similarities and/or differences in how you have to approach the job?

Achille Salvagni: I had finished designing a NYC home for a client when they suggested that I look after their yacht as well. They wanted the yacht to be an extension of their homes. At 70m, this wasn't a small project! I always approach my yacht interiors as if they were residential interiors albeit they are actually one connective piece of cabinetry. When designing yachts, one has to be well versed in all of the necessary regulations. I would say that there are only about five international designers that are adept at residential and yacht interiors. I am grateful to be included in this list.

Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

NYS: What is on the horizon for you?

Achille Salvagni: Increasingly I am receiving commissions for interiors from major art collectors, therefore the challenge is always in balancing the aesthetic of the room with the art. One shouldn't outdo the other. Every new project is a lesson in synergy and symbiosis. I am currently working on a five-story townhouse on the Upper East Side in NYC which will be ready in October, a beachfront villa in Miami which will also be ready in the summer, four superyachts, as well as the four shows that I am designing for my London atelier.

Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.
Pompeii Collection by Achille Salvagni; Photograph by Paolo Petrignani.

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