Porcelanosa Lifestyle 14·08·2020
Marcel Wanders, the wandering designer PORCELANOSA
He is one of the great names of contemporary design with countless successes in the last decade of the 20th century and the first twenty years of the 21st, and a shining star in the media.
His journey through design and innovation is a quest to break away from existing patterns, a definitive and voluntary departure from the linear and preconceived: “Chaos is my way of dealing with every project, my personal order is born out of chaos,” he says.
His domain and roots are to be found in Amsterdam, and through the city’s canals he navigates impactful design, surrealist touches, secret functionality and an unabashed sense of humour. For Marcel Wanders, maximum expression is a necessary minimum. And in recent years, he has even left room for poetry.
We met up with him in Madrid at the presentation of the Lladró Nightbloom lamp, its ethereal aesthetic produced by the white porcelain petals of the fixture. As ever, he was cheerful and lively, with a very individual air of ironic, insightful hedonism: “The journey of design gives me freedom and consistency. This time I have travelled to the tradition of pottery linked to the delicacy of flowers. Each piece is different and each one contains a different light, aroma and movement at every moment.”
Marcel Wanders: “The journey of design gives me freedom and consistency”
His passion for travelling and his Dutch roots are not overlooked in his latest work at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and we highlight two projects that have become classics, incorporating the spirit of travel that runs through the work of Wanders, the wandering Dutch designer.
An airport to remember
Marcel Wanders’ project reflects his non-conformity; airports seem made to be forgotten and the designer has fought back against this trend.
Opened in January 2020, it has immediately adapted to these new “pandemic” times, with intimate spaces for a small number of people, maintaining the necessary safe distances between them. The first impression is the radical difference with respect to any other VIP room in the world, the impersonal becomes intimate and memorable.
This VIP center is a set of lounges in the classic sense, but features the intense colour of black on black or deep, rich indigo, faded floral carpets, carpets with map and compass motifs created for Moooi Carpets, the capricious forms of unstructured furniture, and theatrical lighting. Wanders’ most famous pieces have been combined with other design classics and one of the lounges is named after Delft pottery, which was reinterpreted by the designer in 2014.
Marcel Wanders: “We wanted to highlight the essence of the Dutch explorers, their vision of travel as discovery”
“Each lounge tells a different story. We wanted to highlight the essence of the Dutch explorers, their vision of travel as discovery, the assimilation of cultures, and trade. This is a transit room between one flight and another, but it remains in the memory,” Wanders told Porcelanosa Lifestyle.
Signature hotel in Ámsterdam
In 2012, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel was opened, located in what was once the Amsterdam city library, next to the Prinsengracht canal.
Eight years have passed since it opened and interior design remains its most powerful feature.
The renovation of the building was based on two premises: first, careful consideration of energy sustainability and, second, a free hand for Marcel Wanders with his own unique creative dynamism.
Marcel Wanders: “The context gives a contemporary re-reading of Dutch history”
“I took the neighbourhood as a reference and built it into every part of the hotel; it’s in the heart of the historic quarter, so the context gives a contemporary re-reading of Dutch history. The light of Amsterdam does not go unnoticed inside and outside; the garden is a special whim”, Wanders explains.
The designer’s imagination calls on the blue designs and decorative motifs inspired by traditional Delft pottery, the Golden Age, tulips and bright orange. The building’s original purpose has not been lost, however: the famous library in the Andaz hotel is open to the city, as is its “baroque” garden, which evokes the fantasy of children’s stories.
This is clearly a signature hotel by a tireless creator of surprises, rooms that are full of impact, a densely charged atmosphere that leaves an indelible mark, a journey to the many worlds of Wanders.
Louis Vuitton commissioned a collection of objects from Wanders that embodied the spirit of travel, pieces of timeless furniture. All the items feature delicate and sophisticated finishes in materials such as leather, steel and Murano glass.
Diamond Screen is a leather screen designed to subdivide spaces, generate intimate settings and create different ambiances. As complements, the Chaise Longue and the Lune chair together with the Diamond mirror, belong to a series of designs created to meet an essential need for explorers, the traveller’s rest, an oasis in which they could relax before moving on or make preparations for another journey.
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