Oct 2016
Francesca Molteni

Flemish architect and designer, Vincent Van Duysen lives in Antwerp with two dachshunds, in a manifesto-house, made of light, half-light and delicate colors, that come alive with memories and sudden bursts of flame a sculpture, a book, a photograph.
Rigorous but welcoming, like his style.

“I have tried to bring things back to their very essence”, he says, “without relinquishing the comfort or the spirit of the house”. For Van Duysen, who defines himself as a perfectionist, design is interaction with people and the context. And even the design objects derive from and recall his structures. Like the wardrobe designed in 2015, in numerous variants, for Molteni&C, Gliss Master, inspired by his home and his obsession with hiding everything away in the walls.

Like his design for the Molteni stand at the 2016 Salone del Mobile. The elegance, sober and discreet, is that of the great stately homes, reminiscent of Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, designed by Piero Portaluppi, with its secret gardens and the patio, where light flows softly.

The inhabitants and the furnishings are the real protagonists. But, like Villa Necchi, it is also a sophisticated oasis in the heart of the city, where the beauty of the textiles and materials stands out. “I think that bringing the garden into the house is a way of giving it oxygen, fresh air”, he says, “and creating interaction between inside and out, as I have in the Molteni stand, taking my inspiration from the orangeries, the winter gardens where floral installations and furnishings coexist”.

The masters of Flemish painting are the references of the three new products designed this year. Paul is a system of seats of various sizes, modular, timeless, sensual and comfortable, classics but very modern and multifunctional.

The colors are neutral, derived from Nature and from Flemish culture, along with green, chosen for its freshness. Quinten is a collection of sideboards, very practical household items, that blend various materials – metals, wood, lacquers – in controlled colors. “God is in the details”, he says. Jan are precisely proportioned occasional tables that can be teamed with any item of the Molteni collection. The first kitchen designed for Dada, Hi-Line VVD, reinterprets a best-seller.

“I didn’t want to reinvent the kitchen but rather re-think tradition in a very modern and architectural way. This is the hub of the home, so everything is played out in the ergonomics and the functional aspect, it is never an industrial product but a domestic design that has to be engineered”

Hence the attention to unexpected details, to natural materials, like stones and woods and untreated metals, with a patina. A kitchen that recalls the grandiose style of traditional interiors, with trolleys and open shelves. Because what counts is always emotions and the soul. “Basically”, he says, “in every project, it is a question of creating a beautiful space, a space for contemplation, where you can take refuge from stress and feel protected.I believe that protection is very important, for us human beings, and it is what I try to translate in my architecture and in my design projects”.

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