Gubi’s two new designs by GamFratesi remind us of the joy of long, extravagant dinner parties

Clare Sartin
·3-min read
Photo credit: Gubi
Photo credit: Gubi

For its latest launch, Gubi is presenting a chair unlike any it has made before. Not only is the ‘Violin’ by Danish-Italian design duo GamFratesi’s Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi – the creator of Gubi’s iconic ‘Beetle’ chair – unique, it’s also ideal for our current times. The reason is its focus: comfort.

We have all become more attached to the idea of comfort in the past year and this newfound obsession with elasticated waists and high-fashion slippers has translated into furniture, too. The ‘Violin’ is what Gubi refers to as a ‘half-arm dining chair’, its softly embracing backrest also functioning as an understated armrest ideal for keeping you comfortable through to dessert and beyond.

Photo credit: TUALA HJARNO/PHOTOGRAPHY CPH
Photo credit: TUALA HJARNO/PHOTOGRAPHY CPH

It’s the kind of clever innovation we have come to expect from Gubi and GamFratesi, with both sharing a passion for challenging the status quo of the design world. ‘It is possible to take inspiration from the past, and tell new stories,’ explain Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi. ‘We work in the space between the familiar and the unexpected, where you feel you know something and yet it still surprises you.’

Photo credit: Gubi
Photo credit: Gubi

The name ‘Violin’ is inspired by the two parallel lines that extend from the generous backrest down to a bar beneath the seat. Present as two distinct pencil marks on the very first sketch, this detail brings to mind the strings on a violin.

‘We would like to see the chair deployed in groups,’ add the designers, who explain that ‘the chairs create a series of lines around the table, like musical notes on a score.’

Beautifully crafted, with immaculate geometry and symmetry, the ‘Violin’ chair is an harmonious companion to GamFratesi’s other brand-new design for Gubi, the ‘Epic Elliptical’ table.

Made from the finest Italian white travertine, carefully selected for the natural beauty of its veins, this table has a grandeur that feels appropriate as we all prepare to fall back in love with the drama and performance of entertaining.

Sat on top of two monolithic hexagonal columns inspired by Greek and Roman architecture, its top appears astoundingly thin, almost delicate. ‘The Epic Elliptical Table is a true architectural construction interpreting the solidity of Roman columns in a poetic and even more extreme way,’ explain Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi.

Photo credit: TUALA HJARNO |PHOTOGRAPHY CPH
Photo credit: TUALA HJARNO |PHOTOGRAPHY CPH

‘In elongating the shape of the tabletop, the columns have become even heavier and the tabletop lighter, creating a new balance between the elements while maintaining consistency of concept.’

The ‘Epic Collection’ also includes smaller tables, supported by a single leg, as well as a coffee table. There is something exciting though about the extravagance of this two-metre-long version. It brings to mind feasts and banquets – vast joyful occasions where family and friends can eat, drink and be merry again.

The ‘Violin’ chair (from £658.50) and ‘Epic Elliptical’ table (£7,443) will both be available from the end of May 2021, gubi.com

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