For his designs in MANIERA 03, Venlet has worked on the theme of Hôtel Wolfers, a modernist town house in Brussels built by Belgian architect Henry Van de Velde in 1929. The series was first presented in Hôtel Wolfers itself, in April 2015.
The building has been kept in the state it was found in in the seventies by its current owner, an art collector who prefers to treat the spaces like art works, not intervening with face-lifts, transformations or renovations. As a result of this attitude the house has been allowed to age in its full grace and originality.
Richard Venlet proposes a daybed, a rest zone on a human scale that echoes the shape of the building plot on which the house stands. The furniture can be read as a platform raised slightly above the floor. Upholstered with sheepskin, it creates an immediate intimacy; a comfort zone to rest and to reflect upon its surroundings.
In addition to the duplication of the site for the daybed, Venlet also made use of a lost decorative feature of Hôtel Wolfers. During his research he detected in old photographs that the doors of the dining room, main hall and music room were originally plated in silver. Richard Venlet reconstructed one of these doors and left it as a permanent intervention in the house.
This light-reflecting architectural element inspired Venlet to create two silver-plated stool lamps. The layered tones of light and shadow and their power to reflect the low sheen silver leafs, provide a subtle play of gleam and shine.
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