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Vincent Van Duysen showcases stone furniture for Miami art week

Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen has unveiled a series of furniture pieces and showcased them in a multi-sensory installation with Mexican stone company Arca during Miami art week.

The Gravitas collection consists of seating, shelving and tables made with stone from Arca, sourced from quarries in Spain, Mexico and Italy.

Gravitas includes 18 pieces made from Porfido, lava stone, Carrara marble and Cafesino. The forms range from small stools to monumental shelving and tables.

Vincent Van Duysen posing with stone shelves
Vincent Van Duysen worked with Arca to create a series of furniture designs in stone

Each piece has rough surfaces, rendered by hand, and more than 80 hours of labour went into some of the large pieces.

The stone was polished for particular elements of the pieces, such as the seats of the chairs.

With the exception of a large circular table, each of the pieces consists of a single blocks of stone, which were machine cut from larger blocks before being shaped by the artisans.

Black stone chaise lounge
The stone was sourced from three different countries

“It’s incredible to see how a stone can transform simply by applying different treatments,” Van Duysen told Dezeen.

“This process involves a juxtaposition of textures from the same stone, engaging in a dialogue with the overall shape of the object.”

Stone tables and chairs
They were hand carved by artisans

Van Duysen worked closely with Arca and the artisans to carry out the project. Artisans were selected from locations near the quarries.

“The pieces speak for themselves and are the result of the skilled craftsmen who have left their mark on this collection,” said the architect.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to them. Above all, this is a very human collection.”

White carrera marble chair
Smooth surfaces were used for the seats of the chairs and tops of the tables

Van Dusyen credited Arca, a stone distributor based in Mexico, for sourcing of the stone and connecting him with the artisans on the project.

Arca CEO Gerardo Cortina said that the precision of Van Duysen’s vision worked well to showcase the “innate beauty” of the materials selected for the project.

Beige side tables made from stone
They were exhibited as part of Miami art week

“Vincent Van Duysen’s work embodies a philosophy that aligns perfectly with our own – a deep appreciation for the intrinsic beauty of natural materials,” said Cortina.

“His creations exemplify the elegance and timelessness that our marbles embody, consequently it was an organic choice to enlist Van Duysen’s practice to reimagine our extensive material curation, and create a collection that transcends the ordinary.”

To showcase the release of the collection, the team put together an installation at Arca’s Wynwood showroom during Miami art week. The furniture pieces were placed on top of a large-grain gravel and the room was lined with curtains.

Van Duysen selected a soundtrack to accompany the work that included the sounds of water to further emphasise the natural shaping of the stone.

“The public there is not just interested in art but also in design and creativity all around,” said Van Duysen.

“As these pieces exist at the crossroads between art, sculpture, and product design, we thought that the event would shine the right spotlight on the collection launch.”

beige side board on black gravel
Pieces were arranged at Arca’s Wynwood location on top of black gravel

Van Duysen is known for his architectural approach to furniture design, and for being the creative director of Italian furniture outfit Molteni&C.

Along with Alex Vervoordt, Van Duysen helped design a house for American celebrity Kim Kardashian in California.

The photography is by Nick Hudson. 

Gravitas is on view at Arca Wynwood from 7 to 10 December during Miami art week. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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