Barrique US: new life for wood contest

by eleonora usseglio prinsi
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The company San Patrignano Prodotti e Servizi Società Cooperativa Sociale is launching the first At the table contest.

Participants will have to design an item of furniture connected with the table using and making the most of the wood of the barriques, 225/228-litre casks. Other materials can also be used to complement the item (e.g. iron, glass, and other types of wood).

"New Life for Wooden Barriques" is a project with a great social value for San Patrignano, primarily because it allows several of the community's residents to gain valuable training as carpenters, learning skills that currently run the risk of dying out. Day by day, these young people work with the passion and expertise of the craftsmen of the past to create the decor objects, overcoming the challenges of every barrique, with a different size and shape for every stave, made from a material so full of life that it can be used only ten days after the barriques are opened.

The trade and craft courses provided include a winery and a carpentry workshop, and over the last two years it has been these two that have given life to this fantastic project. The idea was to find ways to recycle old barriques, the oak casks with a capacity of 230 litres used to age wine over a period of several years. These casks must however be replaced every five years, when they become unsuitable for use and must be discarded.

From this starting point, the community decided to recover the timber of the barriques by exploiting the skills and creativity of its carpentry workshop, where 69 young guests are currently following rehabilitation programmes.

Every single one of these objects is the fruit of the commitment, creativity and social responsibility of 33 world-famous designers and architects , who made a vital contribution to the project by offering their designs. Among the others Riccardo Arbizzoni, Claudio Bellini, Mario Botta, Giuliano Cappelletti and Matteo Thun.

The participation in the contest is open to all adult US citizens. The following two participation classes are provided for UNDER and OVER 26. The designs must be uploaded online no later than 05.02.2013. Six designs shall be selected in total, three for each participation class. As a reward, the item shall be put into production by the San Patrignano joinery.

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Image courtesy San Patrignano (Salone del Mobile Milan 2012)