Designs that don’t scream but cut to the chase
Who is he?
Gabriele Salvatori is CEO and Creative Director of Salvatori, an award-winning Italian design company specializing in natural stone. Salvatori is a family business, founded in 1946 by his grandfather, Guido Salvatori. As a young boy, he was immersed in the business and for many years witnessed the process of developing design products in natural stone. Salvatori used to talk to everyone involved in the process, from the architects to the men working in the construction site and on the machinery, and he learned how different skills and points of view came together to create a wealth of ideas. incredible. He enjoys exploring all the different ways his business can meet market needs. It can be to satisfy an existing demand or to be ahead of the curve and develop innovative products that wow people and meet needs they might not even know they had. Salvatori simply likes to surprise and delight customers and collaborators by proposing innovative and ingenious solutions. That’s why he says he’s really lucky. What he does is not just a job or a job, but a hobby that makes him happy every day.
Veronica Gaido / Ti Gong
Share with us some of your works and name the one you are most proud of.
Over the years I have been involved in numerous design projects in the residential, hospitality, corporate and educational sectors. ETH Zürich is a polytechnic institute that has shaped generations of Nobel laureates, including Albert Einstein. In 2007, I had the great pleasure of working with the director of the faculty of architecture at ETH and Dietmar Eberle of Baumschlager Eberle Architects on one of the most important buildings on the institute’s campus. The result is an incredible travertine structure which, during the day, creates extraordinary plays of shadow and light. Huge vertical slabs rise floor after floor and all appear to be the same height. But here, we played with a principle of perspective, because in reality the slabs of the lowest level are about 4.6 meters long while those of the highest level are 5 meters. It is truly a masterpiece of engineering and architecture and shows meticulous attention to detail. Even though each tile weighs about 1 ton, the visual effect is incredibly light.
Courtesy of Salvatori / Ti Gong
Are you currently involved in a project?
In central London we have an extremely interesting project with 50 luxury apartments in the last plot of land in the Marylebone area. I have a special fondness for it, because I was personally involved in it from the beginning and saw it take shape. Other projects include a villa in Berlin with David Chipperfield Architects, a project in Pompano Beach, Florida with Piero Lissoni and the Four Seasons Hotel in New York with Yabu Pushelberg. Let’s say we never get bored.
What is your design style?
If I had to describe my style in three words, I would say sober, elegant and timeless. I love clean designs, designs that don’t scream but get straight to the point. As nature demonstrates, there is intrinsic beauty in things, almost in a mathematical way. We see it in the way so many things return to the Fibonacci sequence, which we find in the perfect geometry of a snail’s shell and in snowflakes. Everything has its own harmony and I seek this harmony paying particular attention to proportions and the synergy between the elements. In music, you have to stick to chords and timings to create a pleasing effect, and it’s the same in design where the “music” of design happens with the right connections and breaks. It’s kind of fundamental in aesthetics.
Where are you most creative?
I’m most creative when I can combine elegance and simplicity, as it matches my own aesthetic sensibility and style. A successful design or project should, of course, be beautiful to look at and convey a sense of aesthetic pleasure to all who see it. But that’s not quite enough. It should also evoke genuine affection or pleasure. It requires a spark of genius or brilliance or something out of the ordinary that resonates with anyone who sees it.
What does your home mean to you?
Home is the place you share with your loved ones. It’s a kind of cocoon where you spend time with friends and loved ones, but it’s also the place where you become one with yourself. For me, home is also closely linked to music. I play several instruments, including piano, guitar and drums, and one of my great pleasures is taking time to practice my hobby, sometimes alone and sometimes with others. This little ritual is an important part of my family life. I could also joke that my car is an extension of my home, because I spend so much time in it going from place to place that it’s kind of a constant in my life, too.
What do you collect?
Dreams. I have the whole collection.
What will be the next big design trend?
In my opinion, the market is moving towards a more honest and authentic design. A kind of no frills approach where the focus is on what’s really important. We are entering an era of useful objects, objects that we really feel we need. This need can be objective, pragmatic or soothing to the soul, but we are looking for items that comfort and inspire us.