Eye On Design: The Tower Cabinet for Mario Tchou Residence, By Ettore Sottsass

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet
Tower Furniture for the House with the Little Chinese Girl, Mario Tchou Residence, Milan (All Photos By Gail)

Ettore Sottsass (1917 – 2007) designed the interiors of Mario Tchou’s Milan apartment and named the project for Tchou’s daughter, who captured his heart as she attempted to scale the Tower.  The latticework, dowels and cubic proportions suggest the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Wiener Werkstatte, and the Bauhaus.

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet Detail

These interests merge with eastern touches — the Chinese red and black lacquer, gold leaf and pagoda construction — into a hybrid table/desk/shelf/cabinet/chest of drawers, a catch-all for the needs of daily life.

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet Detail

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet
Installation View

Sottsass wrote in the architecture and design magazine Domas, “The fact remains that a piece of furniture could be like architecture. with windows from which to looks outside . . .The piece of furniture can be looked at in many ways, always changing.”

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet

The Tower, in short, is a kind of perception machine for the interior of the home.

Ettore Sotsass Tower Cabinet Installation View

Photographed as part of the exhibit Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical, at the Met Breuer (Through October 8th, 2017 )

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