MALABARES

10 April 2023 Posted by Alexandra Lamont

The Spanish word ‘malabares’ evokes a skillful trick or move – executing something very challenging with exquisite grace and the equilibrium of an acrobat… something akin to the balancing act so many of us were forced to achieve during the myriad pressures of the past few years. The idea of ‘malabares’ also speaks to the feats of precision and meticulous process required to make the pieces in our Spring collection.

Alexander Lamont’s 2023 collection of furniture and lighting is a series of design studies that explore instances of flow, asymmetry, surface and substance. The designs were conceived in the midst of the pandemic and developed over the ensuing 2 years through remote working across continents. It is our response to a challenging time when sudden change was imposed on all of us, and we were called upon to reflect and be expressly creative; to find graceful solutions; to adjust directions and accept new lifestyle realities and priorities.

Malabar Drinks Spot Table in Charcoal Grey Shagreen

Asymmetry then becomes a most important element of the series; an instigator of movement that demands balance. Substantial volumes express transitions both sudden and fluid where our exquisite surfaces of hand-crafted materiality evoke nature and the legacies of craft. A modern seduction of eye and hand.

The Malabares Collection with Estribor Cabinet in Ebony Straw and Drift Lamps in Beechwood Straw

Malabares was designed by Alberto Velez – a wonderful Colombian designer who has made his home for many years in the United States. After 10 years working with Studio Sofield in New York he was headhunted to become the Design Director of Holly Hunt in Chicago. Alexander and Alberto had been friends for many years, and after Alberto left HH in 2020 they had their first opportunity to work together.

Alex Lamont (left) worked with Colombian designer Alberto Velez (right) on the Malabares Collection

Estribor

Estribor means Starboard in Spanish nautical terms or the right side of a ship. The word conjures up the asymmetry of different sides and the crafted curves of a seaborn vessel.

The Estribor cabinet is a low bar cabinet or sideboard with beautifully engineered asymmetrical doors that seem to fold into one another. The whole cabinet is richly swathed in straw marquetry in either soft natural or ebony-black tones. Smooth, bronzed hardware plays with our sense of touch when we open the doors.

The Estribor Cabinet comes in two colours of straw marquetry: Ebony and Beechwood
The interior of the Estribor Cabinet in Ebony is finished in rich Mahogany wood

Eye-catchingly modern but also casual with a quiet presence the Estribor side table evokes a sense of ‘tearing away’ as the flow of straw marquetry curves around softly altered and altering forms. The stoic volume offers alternate heights of cast textured bronze surfaces that can be arranged around informal seating areas.

The Estribor Side table in Ebony and Beechwood Straw Marquetry with textured bronze top 

The interior groove of the Corteza Dining Table base is finished in Grooved Cherry Wood

Corteza

Corteza explores the notion of bark sections as bearers of structure and texture. Bark is both a concave and convex form depending on where you stand, and one side is raw while the other smoothly envelopes and holds the tree.

Carved bronze and mahogany is used to bring this deeply textured element to Corteza Console’s structure supporting sensual, flowing volumes clad in natural tones of dark or light shagreen.

Corteza Console table is available in Natural Speckle and Natural Distress tones of Shagreen

The dining table is round, informal and sized with  multifunctional open living spaces in mind. The top is made from French Oak with a subtle inlaid pattern in the surface that echoes the scooped out grooves of the shagreen wrapped base.

The Corteza Dining Table with Natural Speckle Shagreen base

Pontoon

A pontoon evokes a floating structure, a functional surface resting on the water to provide a landing stage or bridge.

The Pontoon nightstand is a series of gently cascading  volumes, including a drawer, that float between shagreen and oak veneer. Available in right or left orientations this piece is also practical as a side or end table in a living context.

The Pontoon Nightstand – Right

The cocktail table by the same name offers layers of honed natural shagreen that float over austere French oak forming a soft rectangular volume with split levels connected by tangent, flowing movement. Its proportions were conceived with relaxed and intimate living spaces in mind, its soft curves and quiet but rich surfaces providing an elegant support around which to arrange comfortable seating.

The Pontoon Cocktail Table – floating surfaces of French Oak and Natural Speckle Shagreen
The Pontoon Nightstand right – the Pontoon also looks stunning in a living setting as an end table or side table

Malabar

Named after the collection as the ultimate balancing act, this functional piece is petite and playful – a confluence of geometric maneuvers activated on every side of the Malabar drink spot table which presents cast bronze textures over an exquisitely crafted shagreen envelope.

Malabar Drinks Spot Table in Natural Speckle Shagreen sits next to the Mirador Slipper Chair

Kumo

Taking its name from the Japanese word for cloud, Kumo is a soft flowing form contrasting with a geometric arrangement of straw marquetry in light or dark tones reminiscent of the overlapping surfaces of a woven basket. The sculptural volume is raised on an oak foot to create the sense of a floating surface.

Striking and original in design Kumo finds it place easily in a relaxed and informal setting.

Kumo Cocktail Table is inspired by the shape of a cloud and comes in both Ebony and Beechwood straw marquetry

Drift

The 2023 collection introduces two new lamps that embody the idea of elements drifting apart, of asymmetry and balance.

The Drift lamps offer an ascending composition of shifting volumes enhanced by the flowing nature of straw marquetry in dark, or light tones. With elegant equilibrium the lamps are finished with exquisite bronze details at the foot and the base of the lamp’s neck.

Drift Floor and Table Lamps in Beechwood Straw
Drift Floor and Table Lamps in Ebony Straw Marquetry

Malabares brings the beauty and human energy of craft and natural materials to shapes and proportions adapted to contemporary ways of living, for homes that are “sanctuaries” of informal yet productive comfort. Malabares is an important collection for 2023, a journey into form, substance, asymmetry and flow; an expression of enlightened modern materiality.

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