June 6, 2016
Arper's Ultra-Chic Flagship SoHo Showroom
At Arper USA's flagship showroom in SoHo, modern minimalism cuts a Bella Figura.
by Deborah L. Martin photographer Dean Kaufman
DESIGN, ITALIAN STYLE
Italy has always been known for its iconic and innovative design. From fashion (think Gucci and Prada) to architecture (Brunelleschi's Dome and Gae Aulenti's Palazzo Grassi), from household products (Olivetti, Alessi, and Bialotti), to furniture (Gió Ponti, Ettore Sottsass), there is almost no category that the Italians have not mastered. From the largest manufacturers to the smallest workshops, Italian style continues to inspire and inform contemporary design at every level.
In November 2015, Treviso-based Arper, whose mantra is "In pursuit of the essential," opened a flagship showroom in SoHo. CEO and owner, Claudio Feltrin, explains the choice. "New York is a gateway to projects across the continent. The new showroom houses our furniture, but it is also a place for Arper to collaborate with designers surrounded by comfort and beauty." A design lab, the space is also home base for the Arper USA offices.
Says Feltrin, "Our vision is to create furniture for people's well-being. Life and workspaces merge more and more and we spend most of the day out of the home. The elements of balance, color, and play are important in living spaces—whether at home or in the office." Arper collaborates with designers like Jean-Marie Massaud and Barcelona-based Lievore Altherr and Molina, a studio that is responsible for most of the pieces in the collection. Some of the company's recent corporate projects include the offices of Versace New York and the LinkedIn offices in the Empire State Building. They also have a rigorous commitment to environmental sustainability. The Product Stewardship program ensures that all parties involved in a product's life cycle share responsibility for the health and environmental impact resulting from the management of its production process, use, and eventual end-of-life stages.
Arper draws much of its design inspiration from the rich cultural history of its home country. Says Feltrin, "Art, architecture, and nature are all around us. Our roots are in this Mediterranean culture." But they are global as well. He continues, "Japanese, African, and Northern European communication codes are also deeply embedded in our products. These influences result in shapes, colors, and materials that speak to each other harmoniously."
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