In the key of colour: Paola Lenti at Chiostri dell’Umanitaria

Fabrics, cords and braids, among matching and contrasting colours

by roberta dragone
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2013 MILAN DESIGN WEEK_ Once again the magic of Chiostri dell’Umanitaria has been the setting, during Milan design week, of new collection by Paola Lenti. IN THE KEY OF COLOUR the leit motif of 2013 edition: materials, fabrics and colours are all intrinsically tuned to each other, giving life to a rich chromatic proposal. 

Since 2011, Paola Lenti has been committed to a programme of restoration aimed to give back to the Umanitaria the ancient charms of its Cloisters. Together with its established partners, such as Menotti Specchia, Oikos and Davide Groppi, as well as this year’s new collaborators, such as Piscine Laghetto, it has again been possible to dedicate part of the resources set aside for the organisation of the event toward works of careful restoration and renovation. 

In 2013 the project, by Bestetti Associati, has focused on the exteriors, particularly on the restoration of the about 3,000 m² of the Giardino dei Platani: it has designed the area with alternating hedges, flowers and fruit trees, in order to offer visitors the fascination of diverse seasonal scenery.

The complex recovery plan of the exterior spaces has included the restoration of the entrance façade in via Daverio, the new lighting system, the completion of the paving and the accessory cladding, the creation of new mirrors of water and new stone walkways. 

This year – explains Paola Lenti we  have played with materials, fabrics, inflatables and colour.
Colour is the real medium, holding everything together and giving at the same time a touch of lightness, which never goes amiss. 

In The Key of Colour system, previewed last year, has continued to evolve and extend the real potential of Rope, a material for exterior environments, developed over years of research.

The fabrics, the cords and the braids produced by Paola Lenti with this yarn today allow the company to execute dozens of unique proposals of chromatic suites, matching or contrasting colour shades, endlessly multiplying the expressive possibilities of its new and classic pieces. 

For interior environments, the new collections introduce vibrant colours and melange textures in new fabrics and lacquering: ivycoverwelcomesmile .

For the exterior they offer an unprecedented chromatic proposal, from the IN THE KEY OF COLOUR system, executed in dozens of different suites: strap, juni, orlando | garden armchair

The new collection is  playful, joyful, full of soft and welcoming shapes, classic and simple, studied and expressed in the smallest details. 

Menotti Specchia was responsible for the Chiostri outdoor floorings by supplying deckout, menotti specchia, underfoot solutions for outdoors. For Auditorium they chose techno, menotti specchia, a multi-layer wood parquet that entails numerous production stages to give a result that enhances the natural vibration of the grain. 

2013 is the third year in a row that Menotti Specchia has been involved in this ‘responsible project’ which began in 2011 organised and devised by Paola Lenti and her team – explains Sara Cingottini, Project and XiLab manager of Menotti Specchia. The project involves a series of companies with product, quality, design, attention to materials and research, but above all a ‘social heart’, in common. 

The journey will continue – concludes Sara Cingottini – by trying to reorganise and define the great surrounding park-green lung. The work and the collaboration will go ahead by positively contaminating both companies because we believe that this is the linchpin of an inter-company work in which not only the products, but also the methods, the contacts and above all the people are the main resource for the present and immediate future. 

For 2013 Fuorisalone – declare Claudio Balestri, CEO of Oikos – we specifically designed a tailor-made wardrobe for Paola Lenti’s products, one aimed at creating an aesthetic short-circuit between space and that which occupies it; decor like luxuriant vegetation hidden in these secret gardens. The textures and shades were reworked specifically for Paola Lenti’s creations, starting with a thorough analysis of the shapes, fabrics, lines of each object in order to narrate through these an idea of reserved, balanced, essential elegance - but one that’s never banal. An elegance founded on the value of color and material, on careful choices that never overlook man or nature.