Monday 25 Oct 2010


Lualdi opens its doors to American designers

Lualdi Porte, a leading Italian manufacturer of high-quality doors, has introduced its first collection of American doors featuring designs by architects Robert A. M. Stern, David Rockwell and Dror Benshetrit. After much collaboration with high profile architects, Lualdi's ‘American' collection is as highly diverse and democratic as the nation it represents.  The collection, which was launched on 6th October, will be on public view at the Material ConneXion showroom in New York until 19th November.  

Known for elevating door design to the level of fine art, Lualdi was among the first to include high gloss lacquer finishes on its doors and to fabricate them without joints, generating their trademark minimalist appearance.  While Lualdi is highly regarded in Europe where it has operated for 126 years, its reputation in the U. S. is still nascent.  With the introduction of its first American Collection, Lualdi is hoping to increase its presence in the U.S., where it has maintained a showroom in Miami Beach since 2006.    

In choosing which architects would represent its first American collection, Lualdi sought out designers who had strong voice and distinctive style, and could create a series of doors that responded to a variety of aesthetic tastes, from contemporary to modern to classic.                 

Representing the classic end of the design spectrum, Robert Stern has created a series of doors that are variations on the traditional panel door. Taking inspiration from the quintessential New York pre-war apartment, Stern's doors, which are available in single, double and triple panelling, are finely detailed, symmetrically balanced and embellished with high gloss finishes, including metal gilt which outlines the individual panels of the triple panelled door.   

David Rockwell's doors are borne of the architect's belief that the door is ones' first experience of a space and that is should be made to be memorable. Taking his cue from his vast hospitality experience (in particular the design of the Chambers Hotel) Rockwell's doors are designed with sumptuous materials that beckon to be touched.  Made of a rich walnut with a brushed antique bronze frame, Rockwell's creation is accented with a leather-wrapped handle that runs the length of the door. 

By far the most modern and minimalist door in the collection is the one designed by Dror Benshetrit.   Behshetrit's door makes its statement in its detail; a diagonal fold that reveals the inside of the doorframe, giving the illusion that the door is slightly ajar. His door engages the wall with a minimal slice.  Finished in a lustrous high gloss Ferrari-red lacquer that gives it a sleek appearance, Dror's door is the showstopper of the collection.  

Like the designers who created them, each of the doors in the 'American' collection has a very distinct personality, said Alberto Lualdi, President of Lualdi.  Whether Lualdi is here to stay remains to be seen, but its new ‘American' collection surely raises the design bar for the competition.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent