World's most beautiful object...officially

Nick Straughan
Monday 12 Oct 2009

Gyrofocus, voted ‘World’s most beautiful object’ 2008–2009 in Pulchra competition

The Gyrofocus, designed by the award-winning contemporary fireplace maker Focus, has been named as the World's Most Beautiful Object for the 2008-2009 Pulchra design competition. The suspended fireplace achieved the highest number of votes in the inaugural year of the ten-year design competition. Over a year,74,425 participants voted by Internet for the 10 most beautiful objects among 100 selected by a jury of experts in design andarchitecture, including Alessandro Mendini, Italo Lupi and Matteo Vercelloni. The fireplace created by Dominique Imbert in 1968came out as the voters’ top choice, over objects ranging from a television designed by Philips, a Sony Ericsson mobile phone,creations by Philippe Starck, and a Leo Cut diamond; their key point in common being the beauty of their design.

The black fireplace is made of 4mm-thick steel, has a diameter of 1.25m and a weight of 97kg. It rotates 360° so it can be easily directed to face different parts of the room. The length of the flue and other adaptations are produced to requirements.

Pulchra is the first ‘beauty contest’ exclusively reserved for objects. Launched in Italy in 2007 by Sandro Silvi, an internationallyrenowned architect passionate about beauty (pulchra in Latin means ‘the most beautiful’), the aim of the competition is to presentto the public, each year for the next 10 years, 100 objects carefully selected for their beauty by a committee of experts. This latest honour grants posterity to the Gyrofocus, assuring its place in history thanks to the voice of the general public, who resoundingly affirmed the aesthetic principle of its creator Dominique Imbert: beauty in simplicity.

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