As the boundaries continue to blur between furniture, sculpture, art and design, the term “design art” settles comfortably into its crown. So it’s timely that long-established French furniture brand Roche Bobois is producing a limited-edition collection catering for that genre. Its new “Gallery” concept initiates a series of exceptional exclusively made designs, each limited to 500 pieces and signed by the designer. The first two are available to order at its flagship Chelsea showroom in early March.
One of these imaginative designs is the Booleanos sideboard (£5,544, first picture), created by the young Mexican designer Joel Escalona. This intriguing piece is an architectural curiosity formed from interacting squares. Echoes of constructivism are reflected in the offset angles of its beguiling shape and emphasised by tinted gradations across each element of its façade (in a choice of 13 tints). The sideboard stands 150cm tall and is made from oak-veneered particleboard, with one drawer and three doors to access separate interior storage spaces fitted with glass shelves.
The other launch piece is the Capsule sideboard (£8,370, second picture), designed by Cedric Ragot. The simplicity of its pleasingly proportioned, gently rounded shape belies the complexity of its manufacturing process. Five separate moulds are used to create each of the façade’s thermoformed Dacquacryl resin panels, with the result that the exterior is as glossy and tactile as any highly lacquered piece from the art-deco era. The sideboard has three doors, sits on a transparent 30mm-thick Plexiglas base and is available in 34 colours.
“Roche Bobois is well known for its creative designs, but occasionally we will be struck by the strength of a piece that goes beyond furniture design into the realm of art,” says the company’s creative director, Nicolas Roche. “These pieces create an almost emotional reaction due to their strong sculptural or architectural quality.” Collectors of contemporary limited-edition furniture should take note. It’s unlikely these glamorous designs will linger in store for long.