China‘s top furniture brand CAMERICH invited world-renowned architect Alvaro Siza to create the Siza Pavilion for CAMERICH, which officially made its debut at the 44th China International Furniture Fair (CIFF 2019) on September 8, in Shanghai.
Alvaro Siza, laureate of the 1992 Pritzker Architecture Prize and Portugal’s national treasure architect, has been regarded as one of the most important contemporary architects. He is known for his sculptural architecture of “poetic modernism”.
Overlooking the 715-square-meter Siza Pavilion for CAMERICH, you will easily find it has the similar shape of an anteater, an elephant, or a lazy cat that stretches its claws and wiggles its tail in the sunshine outside Siza’s office. For this design, Siza has drawn a total of eight sketches. The first sketch was inspired by a visit to the Horseshoe Housing Estate (Hufeisensiedlung) in Berlin, then he created the second sketch with the inspiration from Picasso’s personification style… Finally, after six months of hard work, he finalized the design.
The entire pavilion appears as a perfect fusion of Siza’s typical sequences of spaces and lighting. The design fragmented by geometry creates an intimate space and a vision that breaks through boundaries. In terms of the materials for the pavilion facade, Siza has experimented with new ideas. The outer skin of the pavilion is fully covered with mineral wool and aluminum foils, giving an unexpected blurry-mirroring appearance wrapped in silver soft-cushion. The inner white wall contrasts with the psychedelic reflections on the outside, conveying a sense of serenity.
No decoration on the walls, and right amount of blank space, are the perfect embodiment of the minimalist style. Small courtyard-inversions in the pavilion’s architecture evoke the influences of Chinese building culture, which may be the result of Siza’s creation of a number of projects throughout China in recent years. The seven entrances divide the courtyard into several different spaces, allowing an even more transparent view.
Siza once said: “An architect’s work is not to invent but to change reality.” Similarly, CAMERICH believes that furniture exhibitions are not simply a display, they should also reflect the future life. This year, CAMERICH broke the traditional furniture exhibition display mode, offering an unprecedented demonstration of products from conception to experimentation, the whole process of product iteration. The exhibition of architectural design and furniture works of Siza followed the way of art galleries in the pavilion. The Castanha Table and the Baiana Chairs, designed by Siza for CAMERICH, will be sold worldwide in the near future.
Siza believes that, from the chairs that we rest on to the city that we live in, everything is closely connected. The innovation of architecture is not a cold machine in the era of industry. The design should integrate rationality and romance from the user’s point of view, and take care for the people. Siza’s humanistic stance and independent spirit coincide with CAMERICH’s human-centric design concept. CAMERICH believes that only by continuously focusing on a broader field, sharing experiences with various fields and inspiring creation, can it achieve sustainable development in terms of brand development and product design, and ensure its first-class quality.
“As a furniture brand, we have a focused design attitude and we do not limit our design vision to one field. This is the innovative way of thinking that CAMERICH has always adhered to. We are honored to cooperate with Master Siza, and we are grateful for his guidance and inspiration during the cooperation. Design does not exist in isolation. It stems from the close observation and reflection of life. Every sincere design by CAMERICH is an effort to maintain the purity of innovation.” said Ms. Wang Yanning, Brand Operating Director of CAMERICH.