Asking a radiator to become 'other' is a challenge. If you then ask it to become an architectural and artistic furnishing element to give personality and character to environments where art and design dialogue in harmony, the challenge becomes twofold. There is no universally valid recipe. Each project must take into account different factors and aspects, from the context, to the intended use, to the genius loci of the location. What is needed is creativity, innovation, state-of-the-art production technology, experimentation, research and study of forms and lines.
Winning the challenge
Revolutionizing the image of radiators to transform them, from objects whose main function is to heat an environment, into pieces of design and art, guided the choices of Laura Fulmine, curator of the London gallery M.A.H, and Tubes, a company that has always had in its DNA the ability to innovate through the art of know-how and attention to detail. The challenge was met in the project for The House, a place of furnishing objects and details chosen and desired by the gallery owner in the Bethnal Green district of East London. An expansion of M.A.H.'s vision, The House offers consultancy, research, design, styling and product services. The informal style of the space has as its common thread the link between craftsmanship and the energy of independent artists, the allure of vintage and the vision of established design brands.
Functional and electric
The Tubes products chosen are Origami (design Alberto Meda), Milano Freestanding (design Antonia Astori and Nicola De Ponti), Eve (design Ludovica+Roberto Palomba), all from the Plug&Play collection, which offers heating objects that can be easily positioned in any room without the need for installation, thanks to their electrical operation.
Personality and quality
Like all products in the Tubes range, the three decorative radiators share a strong personality and meet the design requirements of any space. Although they are objects for which the focus is on the technological and functional aspect, thanks to their design they also fit into environments dedicated to art. The aesthetic qualities of the Treviso company's products have always allowed the heating body to become something else: a furnishing element with a strong architectural and artistic value.
Origami is a flexible radiator with an important yet discreet presence. In The House it was chosen in the double wall version, where the movement of the two modules recreates the beating of butterfly wings. Origami protects, warms and delineates the environment with lightness, and its excellent thermal capacity makes it an eclectic and functional radiator. The red colour contrasts with the wall on which it is installed and almost theatrically recalls the original dining room furniture.
Sculptural and sinuous
Milano, sculptural particularly in the Freestanding version chosen by Laura Fulmine, is set in a space strongly characterised by art. Thanks to its aesthetic value, determined by its sinuous and singular profile, it stands out vertically like the works of art that surround it, providing a chromatic contrast to the environment.
Warmth, light, well-being
Eve is an object with multiple functions, as it brings warmth, light and well-being: an attractively designed sphere is both a heating element and a lamp: it illuminates and warms the kitchen in the matt gold version.
Photo: Ben Anders