Canadian luxury handmade furniture and lighting brand Gabriel Scott celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2022 and to mark this special milestone, founder Scott Richler has commissioned six inspirational designers and architects to reimagine its best-selling and most iconic product, the Welles Chandelier.
The reimagined pieces are now being shown at a formal presentation called ‘Floating Ideas’ at Spazio BIG, 5VIE District, Milan, during Salone Del Mobile in June.
Founder Scott Richler comments, “I am delighted to be working with such high calibre designers to celebrate Gabriel Scott's 10th anniversary. The designs they have proposed are original and a real testament to the spirit of the Welles chandelier, which is now five years old. The project title ‘Floating Ideas’ came to mind because, when you float an idea, you want to see what it inspires in others - and how far it can be taken. I think this will be a really special Milan Design Week for us and we look forward to sharing the show with everyone."
The Welles Chandelier is inspired by jewellery and is a true representation of Gabriel Scott’s design philosophy - to design and make modular products to custom specifications. The modern piece showcases expert craftsmanship: a series of hollowed polygons branch out into a modular system of interconnected configurations creating a stunning optical illusion. With its endless possibilities, the Welles floats in the air emitting a cloud of soft light through its multifaceted, sculpturally innovative silhouette.
For the anniversary, the six top international designers have revisited the Welles Chandelier and added their own interpretations to its design. Each piece is in keeping with Gabriel Scott’s core design principles: versatile aesthetic, customisable and timeless. To ensure differentiation between each studio’s design, Gabriel Scott provided a specific brief which offered advice on design direction as well as technical execution to ensure that each piece is a workable and buildable product.
New York designer Michelle Gerson creates modern, eclectic interiors through combining luxurious furnishings designed for the eye and built for comfort with deco and mid-century elements.
Inspired by the current climate and post pandemic mood, Michelle Gerson’s new Welles design is uplifting and joyful, embodying a sense of artistry. She turned to nature, bringing in a floral element to represent growth and bloom, alluding to the rebirth of a classic Gabriel Scott design. The softer, organic lines juxtapose perfectly with the harder geometric shape of the Welles. Brass and white sandblasted glass.
Sybille de Margerie
Parisienne interior designer Sybille de Margerie’s portfolio includes luxury hotels and prestigious residences all over the world. With offices in Paris, Florence and Dubai, her signature is timeless luxury refined and elegant.
As a contrast to the original Welles sharp metal and glass silhouette, Sybille has created a new interpretation revealing the feminine side of her signature design style. Couture-inspired, elegant and smooth, her piece shows a gradient composition from emptiness to fullness, with a variation of hollow and plain shapes. Sybille has used padded animal free fabric by Ultrafabrics to create a subtle 3D effect and has introduced softness with rounded corners, thus creating new light effects and shadows. Rawness and refinement perfectly describe this exquisite piece. Brass and animal free fabric by Ultrafabrics.
Guan Lee – Grymsdyke Farm
Guan Lee is the director of Grymsdyke Farm in Buckinghamshire, UK, a research facility, fabrication workshop and living-working space for architects, artists, designers and those interested in materials and processes of making. Lee is also the co-director of Material Architecture Lab, a curious, playful and inquisitively collaborative design and research laboratory based at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.
Guan’s design is a striking floor installation, illuminated by light bulbs, and is made from Pollirock a new material developed by Material Architecture Lab. It’s fired clay with unique characteristics, somewhere between ceramic and rocks. It appears natural and yet it is made by recycling manufacturing waste. Lightweight and porous, it has varied possibilities in application from everyday objects like vases and chairs to architectural components like brick or tiles. It is a material that can be left outside to interact with nature.
Reciprocity is the key idea with the pieces working as building blocks that can tesselate together or simply amass to build something new. The aim is to capture and explore what is unmistakably Welles as a silhouette by absorbing light instead of letting it through. The black ceramic shadows the shape of the Welles by literally making a shadow of it. The vision here is about strong contrast and clear integration. Contrast in materiality and integration formally. Exploring the unfamiliar through collaboration.
Kelly Hoppen CBE
London-based, multi-award-winning designer Kelly Hoppen has an ever-evolving style, defined by a subtle fusion of clean lines and neutral tones intuitively balanced with an opulent warmth. With thousands of projects over the last four decades, Kelly and her talented team create multi-faceted couture interiors, with a diverse portfolio of projects including exclusive commercial properties, private homes and 5* hotels.
Crafted from white clay and complemented by cast bronze, Kelly's reinterpretation is inspired by a collection of ceramics she is currently designing. Kelly has focused on the materials and scaled the size down to create an elegant overall appearance. It is wonderfully delicate yet maintains the same sense of movement as the original Welles fixture. Bronze and white porcelain.
Alessandro Munge - Studio Munge
Based in Toronto, Canada, Studio Munge is the fresh iteration of Italian designer Alessandro Munge’s 20 years’ experience creating extraordinary, award-winning interiors.
Studio Munge has developed a beautiful narrative infused with dynamic and bold fashion references inspired by rhythmic dance. The original Welles was deconstructed and rebuilt using a new support system inspired by the imagery, thus creating a significant visual divergence and a re-energised dialogue between the interconnected elements. The beautiful jewel-like connecting bracket has also been highlighted, making it a hero on the front of the glass. While the fixture’s volume is radically different, the modular qualities remain with an ability to extend stems for extra tall ceilings and multiply the globes for larger spaces. This flexibility makes it a truly versatile and playful product inviting designers to create bespoke configurations.
David Rockwell - Rockwell Group
Founded by David Rockwell, FAIA, and led by David and partners Shawn Sullivan and Greg Keffer, the 250-person Rockwell Group merges performance and architecture to create extraordinary experiences and built environments across the globe.
Rockwell Group’s reimagination of Gabriel Scott’s iconic Welles Steel Chandelier celebrates its classic geometric form, while creating a contemporary light fixture inspired by clusters found in nature, such as crystals, chemical compounds, clouds or constellations in the sky.
The hollowed glass polygons act as metallic light points that come together at varying heights and dimensions to form a celestial, floating light cluster. The feature chandelier is defined by its luxe volume and organic nature.