Marc Fornes designs bulging coral-shaped pavilion for Louis Vuitton

Marc Fornes pavilion by Louis Vuitton

Designer Marc Fornes presented an organically shaped pavilion at Milan design week to accompany the most recent Objets Nomades furniture collection by fashion house Louis Vuitton.

Fornes, who runs New York studio The Very Many, formed the Nomad pavilion out of more than 16,000 sheets of anodised aluminium.

Interior of coral-like pavilion by Marc Fornes for Louis Vuitton
Marc Fornes created a coral-shaped pavilion for Louis Vuitton

Each featuring a unique shape and pattern, the ultra-thin metal sheets were joined together to create a bulbous structure informed by the shape of coral – a motif that regularly appears in Fornes's work.

The lightweight installation was set within the courtyard of the neoclassical Palazzo Serbelloni in Milan during the city's design week, which concluded on Sunday.

Reflective wall within Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades exhibition
The entrance to the Objets Nomades exhibition featured a hammered metal wall

Visitors were invited to climb inside the maze-like structure and study its various perforations.

"[The pavilion resembles] a living being that has organically bubbled up from the Palazzo's courtyard," said Louis Vuitton.

Undulating lamps by Marcel Wanders suspended above seating
Marcel Wanders created undulating lamps for the fashion house

Alongside the installation, the fashion house presented an exhibition showcasing the most recent edition of its Objets Nomades furniture series.

Since 2012, this has seen Louis Vuitton invite a roster of international designers to create "experimental yet functional" design objects and furniture pieces for the brand.

Colourful mobiles by Atelier Oï at Louis Vuitton
Atelier Oï designed colourful mobiles that intend to mimic quetzal birds in flight

Inside the palazzo, the collection was arranged inside opulent interconnected rooms that are accessed via a winding staircase.

One of the rooms features frosted glass pendant lamps by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders suspended above pale-hued seating. The undulating Capeline lamps mimic the shape of a wide-brimmed hat.

Binda armchair and sofa by Raw Edges
Curved lines and soft materials define Raw Edges' seating

Swiss studio Atelier Oï contributed four designs to the collection, including decorative mobiles crafted from vibrantly hued Louis Vuitton leather that were designed to reference South American quetzal birds in flight.

Among the furniture pieces in the collection is the Binda armchair and sofa by London studio Raw Edges, with a curved shape upholstered in leather and velvet.

Louis Vuitton travel trunk repurposed as a display case
Marc Newson repurposed Louis Vuitton's iconic trunks as display cases

Louis Vuitton displayed the collection to reflect its decadent backdrop, with furniture flanked by intricately patterned screens while warm light illuminated the pieces throughout the exhibition.

As well as Fornes' pavilion and the Objets Nomades exhibition, the fashion house also presented a project by long-time Louis Vuitton collaborator and designer Marc Newson called Cabinet of Curiosities, which was set inside low-slung mirrored pavilions in the Palazzo's gardens.

As part of the installation, Newson transformed various monogrammed travel trunks – a staple of the Louis Vuitton brand – into doll house-style display cases.

The colourful designs intend to repurpose the trunks as display units for small objects such as souvenirs, books and artworks.

Reflective structures in the gardens of the Palazzo Serbelloni
The trunks were displayed in reflective structures in the Palazzo's gardens

Numerous fashion brands used Milan design week as a platform to showcase their work this year.

Among them was French fashion house Hermès, which presented its homeware collection in a geometric iron cage. Meanwhile, Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta collaborated with designer Gaetano Pesce to create the octagenarian's first-ever handbags.

The images are courtesy of Louis Vuitton. 

The projects were on show from 19 to 23 April at the Palazzo Serbelloni as part of Milan design week. See our Milan design week 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks that took place throughout the week.

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