The interior artefacts and objects created by Achille Salvagni are deeply moving and considered objects d’art. Poised, eloquent and unquestionably luxurious, each piece is underpinned by unwavering commitment to detail, ideas and the use of the finest materials and craftsmanship. These are not just interior decorations but timeless pieces infused with history, context and the imagination.
Led by its namesake, Achille Salvagni Architetti was founded in 2002 in Rome. The practice quickly established a global reputation for considered design and luxury. Working alongside eleven highly skilled designers, the atelier produces pieces for exclusive clients such as the Vatican and the Quirinal Palace, as well as supplying works to almost all the Noble Palaces of Rome. With a focus on creativity, respect for craftsmanship and armed with a couturier like attitude, we survey ten of Achille Salvagni’s most coveted artefacts.
The Spider is the Achille Salvagni Atelier Collection’s most coveted piece. The bronze and onyx structure is designed to fill the space it inhabits with a warm web of honey-coloured light. Inspired by Lucio Fontana’s series of works, The End of God, the piece canvasses with a constellation of holes paying homage to Serge Mouille’s satellite lighting systems. The rigid geometry of the pieces arms, contrast with the smooth curves and golden shapes that display the onyx light covers.
Achille Salvagni opened a temporary showroom in the deconsecrated 8th century church, Sant’Angelo in Pescheria, located in the heart of the Roman Ghetto. The Aldus pieces comfortably assimilate amongst the 13th century frescoes of the chapel. The Moon candlestick holders play with the sense of light and shade in the space, alternating between the day and night in a never-ending eclipse.
Achille Salvagni was originally asked to produce a table lamp for Jeff Koons, the proposal giving way to the creation of the Bubbles Lamp. The lamp is a sculptural display of skill and precision, composed of backlit onyx and 24 karat gold-plated bronze bubbles. Precariously balanced on a solid black Zimbabwean granite base, the jocose movement of the lamp is both playful and considered.
ANGEL AND DEVIL
Angel and Devil form part of the Aldus venture, a project born out of an artistic restlessness and a desire to take advantage of the exceptional craftspeople in Rome. The pair of cast bronze table mirrors combine elements of mythology and folklore. The angel reflects while the Devil deforms; this duality is encompassed in the two faces and two personalities that simultaneously unite and oppose one another.
Like gems scattered throughout a room, the Achille Salvagni Atelier’s Emerald little side tables is a playful experiment with informal geometry. Sitting on guard like faithful pets, the side tables were created with intersecting wood grain faces, the mischievous spirit of each piece allowing them to maintain an individual patina that reflect light in different tones.
One of the first pieces of the Achille Salvagni Atelier Limited Edition Collection, this exquisitely crafted double door bar cabinet is one of Achille’s favourite pieces. Standing gracefully on sleek burnished bronze legs and featuring a polished brass top, like a shining golden mirror at rest within the finest of Park Avenue apartments. Gio was conceived as a cabinet of pure shapes. The golden intersecting lines found upon its dark doors—like tails of shooting stars in the night sky—are contrasted with a cosmic explosion of inset handles and a setting sun upon its shining top. The exquisite finish of the piece is testament to fine metal craftsman and precision cabinetry.
HOLLAND PARK APARTMENT
As one of Achille Salvagni’s most recent projects, the Holland Park Apartment is situated in one of London’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. Having been commissioned to realise several pieces that would complement the owners’ contemporary art collection, the Shield cabinet with its aluminium doors and cast bronze handles was perhaps one of the most striking. From the Achille Salvagni Atelier 2013 Collection, the piece was modified at the clients’ special request and covered in goldfish skin.
OYSTER AND SATURN
Having been inspired by the summer sky, Achille Salvagni’s Saturn sconce speaks to the bronze orbit of a backlit onyx planet, reflecting in a concave sphere, while Oyster emerges from calm seas with its magnificent onyx muscle shining from within a cast bronze shell.
A slender and graceful couple dancing in embrace was the inspiration behind the cast bronze structure of the Tango console. Their delicate movement effortlessly holding the weight of a Noir Dorè marble top that traces the movement of the performance. This piece is part of the Achille Salvagni Atelier Collection and seamlessly manipulates the movement of Futurist art with the materials and tradition of Ancient Rome.
The pointed thorn that pierces Nemo’s sinuous silk lampshade is softened by the playful golden polka dot pattern inlaid in its onyx base. The festive confetti glints, contrasting with the honed stone, creating movement in this iconic lamp table from the Achille Salvagni Atelier Collection.
Neue Luxury • Issue 4 • Design • Feature • BY Neue Luxury SHARE
Saint Auxelius’s head rests delicately upon an embroidered pillow, his face veiled in diaphanous muslin, one hand poised contemplatively against his cheek. His costume of elaborate gold filigree is decorated with precious jewels: rubies, sapphires, diamonds and pearls anoint his reclining form, from the pinnacle of his headdress to the tips of his slippered feet.
A total work of art
Adolphe and Suzanne Stoclet epitomised the early 20th century haute bourgeoisie aesthetic. The most obtuse and daring of their projects was the Stoclet Palace, a private mansion designed to transport its inhabitants into a wonderland of grandeur and luxury.
JOHAN VAN MULLEM
Mirrors to the other side
Van Mullem’s monumental portraits are fluid, transitory, evocative things. Rendered in generously applied oil-based ink on unprimed board, they retain a quality of wetness, an uncanny sense that their surfaces are in fact still shifting.