Yesterday evening, at the headquarters of Riva 1920 (a company that “builds furniture that defies time and respects nature”) in Cantù, a new, evocative space was opened, made of spruce and glass, containing the Pangea table, the symbol of Expo 2015 created by the architect Michele De Lucchi based on an idea by Davide Rampello. The surface of 80 square meters made with Kauri, an age-old wood found under the ground in New Zealand, is composed of 19 shaped pieces and supported by 271 legs made with Briccola wood, recycled from oak posts salvaged from the Venice lagoon.
Inside the space, to the left, the exhibition La forma del vuoto presents the small wooden houses designed by Michele De Lucchi. This research on conceptual models representing possible architectures began in 2004, and has evolved in the refinement of building design models that have effectively been put into practice. These three-dimensional forms have led to the series known as “the form of emptiness”: five experimental architectural objects designed in 2017 by Michele De Lucchi and made in solid walnut thanks to the collaboration with Davide and Maurizio Riva.
Along the walls, an archive of wood specimens contains different types of wood from around the world, alongside a selection of other natural materials like leathers, various types of marble, metals, glass and fabrics, stored in special transparent display cases, based on collaboration with over 65 companies from the area offered the opportunity to show their products.
Pangea Lab is a space of education and training, with the objective of providing firsthand knowledge of workmanship and materials. Young people have always played a fundamental part in the everyday activities of Riva 1920, as in the case of the many idea competitions that grant winners financial awards, and above all the possibility of having their prototypes produced and inserted in the catalogue. To further reinforce this focus on youth, Riva 1920 has organized an educational program around visits to the production facilities of a number of companies belonging to the furniture production chain. The project is aimed at students in university architecture departments, design institutes and academies.
“To discover how a product is made is definitely an interesting challenge, with which to bridge the gap between the academic world and the world of crafts and industry,” says Maurizio Riva. “In this way, young people have a chance to observe various processes of workmanship, absorbing knowledge about materials and procedures that becomes indispensable in the phases of design and feasibility study.”
Another must at the Riva 1920 headquarters (showroom + Museum of Wood + Pangea Lab, Via Milano 110, Cantù) is a visit to the largest private museum of woodworking in all of Europe, where the protagonist of the space is the “Antico” table in age-old Kauri wood, dating back to 48,000 years ago. The table, with a length of 12 meters on an iron base, was designed by the architect Renzo Piano.