John Pawson designs marble coffee tables for Salvatori that seem to float and take center stage in any room

John Pawson für Salvatori: “Omphalos“.

“Omphalos“ (navel of the world) from Greek mythology is the name of the collection

“Omphalos“ is the name of the new collection of coffee tables designed by British architect John Pawson for the Italian company Salvatori. Connoisseurs of Greek mythology know what it is all about: in ancient times Zeus had sent two eagles in opposite directions around the earth, so that they found the center of the world. They met above the city of Delphi, and from then on it was clear that the navel of the world would be located there.

The ancient story has to do with John Pawson’s coffee tables in that they are undoubtedly designed to be the focal point in any room. This is because they are unusually wide, and also unusually low.

They conjure the mythical image of birds circling around the earth by concealing their base and making you think they are hovering above the ground.

Together with the two types of marble, Bianco Carrara, and Crema d’Orcia, the shape actually creates an expression of unreality or perhaps tranquility, which makes the furniture, even more, the focal point of the room in question.

There are two round and two square versions. The dimensions are
* round: diameter 100 and 150 cm respectively,
* square 100 x 100 and 150 x 150 cm, respectively.
The height is 20 cm for both.

John Pawson für Salvatori: “Omphalos“.

John Pawson outlines his concept as follows: “I was drawn to the idea of the circle (…), I wanted to use a shape with the idea of gathering embedded within it,” explains John Pawson. “The challenge was to make the stone appear to be levitating, rounding its edges to lighten the stone’s visual weight. I wanted to convey the values of simplicity, pairing function and aesthetics while stripping away the unnecessary”.“

On the webpage of the company, you can find the following instructions for use: “These coffee tables have been treated with a neutral sealer which not only helps protects it from staining, but also ensures it is suitable for use with food. Please be aware however, that natural stone will always retain some level of absorption and therefore products with a high acid, fat or oil content should never be placed on it. Any liquids should be wiped off as quickly as possible.“

This information also on value retention is called for. After all, the pieces of furniture cost 13,000 € plus transport in the web store.


John Pawson

Fotos: Salvatori

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(13.04.2022, 04.13.2022)