Creating a work of art using fine and precious stones, a collection made with gems that can no longer be used in a classical manner as they have been pierced, dismounted and engraved; giving a second life to pearls, engraved emeralds, sapphires, mandarin garnets, moonstones, diamond paving, chalcedonies and rubies …
The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and Cartier entrusted this mission to the renowned Italian architect – designer Alessandro Mendini, who presented his work at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 2002 as part of the “Fragilisme” exhibition.
The development and production of the “precious column” conceived by Mendini have been entrusted to Cartier Joaillerie. These incredible gems, a true lapidary’s handbook, were classified by categories before being encapsulated into crystal cylinders subsequently incorporated vertically within pink-gold flutes.
This column, 2.3 m high, required over 18 months of work, from the initial sketches to the final project. In accordance with the principles of Greco-Roman architecture, this ingenious challenge involved layering more than 7 blocks around a central axis. Topaz, citrine, peridot, emeralds: all the stones were set into epoxy resin after 80 hours of polymerization.
The Triennale of Milano, based in the Palazzo dell’Arte and the design mecca for Italians since 1923, is one of the focus point and most frequented venues during the design week. It provides an extensive panorama of modern decorative and industrial arts, encouraging the relationship between industry, production and applied arts