Listen & Learn >>> ‘The Architect’ Created by Lee F. Mindel > Phillips, London
Tomorrow sees Phillips, London open their doors to the public for the preview of ‘The Architect’, an auction curated by American Architect Lee F. Mindel, FAIA. This evening a handful of us lucky people were invited for a private walk through of each lot before invited guests joined in for the preview evening.
Celebrating the contributions architects have made to the design world via lighting, furniture, drawings and objects, Mindel had clearly worked tirelessly to bring us the best possible edit available for sale today. I can’t express to you how fascinating it was to hear him talk so passionately about each piece he’d selected. Clearly showing a close connection with the architect, their tutor or the context of each piece when talking this evening, I read in his foreword on the first couple of pages of the catalogue how he mentions his…
‘…insatiable thirst for knowledge, along with a respect for those who have built our environment‘.
I’m beginning to acknowledge that in myself. I may never have been one to want to remember my Kings and Queens, but the sense of personal satisfaction when looking at a piece and knowing the designer or/and it’s design story, fills me with such content. It’s ok that I’m not (yet) living in a world where these pieces are accessible to me, because one day I’m sure Phillips will find me what I’m looking for…
Lee F. Mindel
The auction is filled with works spanning nearly two centuries, and the materials used are hugely diverse. Hand bent Thonet chairs are placed next to futuristic extruded materials, each with a common theme. Every piece has played a huge part in the evolution of design to this day, whether for the material, it’s purpose, or how that designer/architect shifted a production method forward or beyond previous capabilities. It’s quite incredible.
Lee also shared that there are twenty Gold Medal Recipients from the American Institute of Architects, and eleven Pritzker Prize winners amongst the creators of these pieces. You couldn’t receive a higher accolade in the design industry. It’s funny to me because, tonight could have been held in the V&A, we’d all go, and coo, and listen and learn, but we wouldn’t have been able to purchase. Yet at Phillips, their ability to curate the most insane collections of design FOR SALE is just extraordinary. Yes the estimates are high, but if you could, if you were fortunate enough to be in a position to bid for any of these lots, I hope you realise, you’re one lucky person indeed.
For all us designers that travel the world to design fairs and exhibitions the world over, this time London, you’ve no excuse not to go. Here are just a few of my favourite pieces, but you must try and go and see for yourselves…
If you studied design of some sort at school, you would have been alerted to Frank Lloyd Wright. This Peacock Chair was designed for the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in the early 20’s. FLW designed the entire hotel, during which he developed a new building technique ensuring the hotel to be earthquake proof, a challenge he set for himself. Famously it survived a devastating earthquake in 1923. This design commission marked an instrumental stage of his design career. Examples of this chair are held in some of the most major museums worldwide. The estimate has been set at £15,00-£20,000.
I had to make a scale model of this Berlin Chair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld again when I was in school, aged 14 or 15. We were taught about his simple use of colour and proportion. The chair was designed in the mid 30s, but records show that production began in the late 50s. The estimate has been set at £12,000-£18,000.
“Henningson turned the science of light into art” Lee F. Mindel
This Daylight ceiling pendant by Danish designer Poul Henningson is a true design classic, reflected in it’s lot estimate of £30,000-£40,000. Fear not, Louis Poulsen own the rights to his pieces now so you can purchase a new edition for just a few hundred pounds now.
Hans J. Wegners original edition Flag Halyard Chair features also with an estimate beginning at £8,000.
Is it terrible to admit the first time I came across Richard Meier. It was shockingly only a few years ago. I was at Louis Pons’ house for brunch during Design Miami with Charlie Ferrer, he was telling me about his design collaboration with Meier’s daughter Ana. That evening I was back at my hotel and started to look into Charlie and Ana’s collaboration online. Ana’s Vogue featured wedding popped up on Google and I saw the most incredible marquee (must have been designed by her father) at their family home in East Hampton. Anyway, that’s how I found out who Richard Meier was. The man who created the coolest marquee ever.
This is his Rocking Chaise Longue, a painted maple frame with a leather seat. Manufactured by Knoll, the estimate has been set at £8,000-£12,000. I would love this please. Below, Meier presents his collection of 21 dining accessories from the 800s. This lot has an estimate of £6,000-£8,000. Eat your heart out Pouenat.
The impossibly stylish and graceful Matches owner Ruth Chapman with her husband Tom, we can see you Tom Hollander in the back, who knew you were such a design aficionado?!
I could share more and more, but my final selection is a double whammy, Zaha Hadid’s Ordrupgaard bench produced by PP Mobler. Only 10 have been made, and the estimate has been set at a starting price of £35,000. This picture does not do it justice, the production is incredible. Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Airocean World Map sits above Hadid’s bench, signed the lot has been set at £50,000.
Viewing started this evening until the auction on the 29th April at 6pm. Phillips, Howick Place, London, SW1P 1BB.
Photography copyright > Phillips & LWSY
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