Magazine T - Autumn/ Winter

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Autumn Winter 2021


Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

Editorial Seasonal rhythms. Summer is no more than a distant memory. The sun’s fervour has subsided, giving way to the subtle charms of autumn mist and drizzles. Outside, our teak furniture is quietly taking on silvery hues. Do you feel like getting away? Now is the time to enjoy the magnificent flowering at Le Jardin Plume in Normandy. Is snow forecast in the mountains? Visit the prestigious Hôtel 5* Hameau Albert 1er in Chamonix where our furniture contributes to the wellbeing of all guests.

Our commitment to design has led to several collaborations with ECAL, the prestigious school of design in Lausanne. Sharing our know-how with young designers is not only a way for us to convey our ethics but also to allow our creations to evolve. We conclude with a small tribute to Alexis de La Falaise who, in 2003, designed the Biblos bookcase for Tectona.

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

Share, convey, create.


Our know-how

The virtues of teak RAIN, TEAK’S BEAUTY LOTION Most teak benches fabricated by Tectona over the last four decades have not moved; they remain as robust as ever, including those in public venues with a high level of use. The only external sign of their age is the silver-grey patina arising from the protective oil; not only does the patina make the benches weather-resistant but it lends a certain grace and beauty.

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021



Mankind’s relationship with teak began in around 2000 BC in tropical Asia, where the wood was used to build temples and palaces. Teak’s solidity and resistance to torrential rains during the monsoon seasons naturally made it highly sought-after by architects of the period. More than four millennia later, in the 18th century, shipbuilding yards of the British Navy were constructing the decks of their vessels from teak. This wonder material was impervious to sea water and imparted exceptional longevity to these decks. A century later, at the end of their sea life, the vessels were dismantled and their teak reused by woodworkers to fabricate outdoor furniture, including the famous benches which to this day welcome passers-by in parks and public gardens on the other side of the Channel.


Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

Teak is indigenous to humid tropical forests, where the prevailing conditions forced it to adapt by developing exceptional resistance to water and the passage of time. It is composed of straight rigid fibres that are particularly closely grained, ideal for cabinetmaking; above all though, the fibres secrete a protective oil or oleoresin that renders the wood rot-proof and impervious to water, insects and rust. The end result of these adaptations is an attractive tree whose vertical cylindrical trunk can be cut in entire sections, which are put to good use by Tectona in particular.


Gardens we love

Le Jardin Plume Vague yet structured

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

Created in 1996 by Sylvie and Patrick Quibel, Le Jardin Plume immerses visitors in a botanical landscape in perpetual flux, the colours of which mark the changing seasons from spring to winter. Like Alice on her way to Wonderland, it’s impossible to imagine the splendours of this garden until you have laid your own eyes on it. When you enter, it is highly recommended to head for the belvedere, from where the design of the garden, seen from above, can be fully appreciated.




The rectilinear perspectives leading to the surrounding landscape, the perfectly traced squares, the broderies and box topiaries, the hornbeam hedges, beech trees and, more recently, trimmed hawthorns and mirror pond, together reveal the classic layout of a standard French formal garden of the 17th century. Prior to its transformation, the 3.5 hectare terrain consisted of an orchard, sheep pasture and, descending towards the forest, a prairie for calves. To magnify what remained of the former orchard, apple trees were planted to punctuate the main perspective of the garden at regular intervals.

As for the perennials, the annuals and the biennials, they seem to have been carefully laid out by a Pointillist painter, with each colour in perfect harmony with its neighbours. The Spring Garden, Summer Garden and Winter Garden are all orientated directly south and are protected from winds by the house and the hornbeam hedges along their east and west sides. Each garden is enclosed on three sides by small box hedges, with one side left open so the plants can “frolic” beyond these bounds. The seasons, more precisely the months, blend into one another seamlessly with flowering of plants occurring in a naturally orchestrated sequence.


HIDDEN CHARMS Sylvie and Patrick Quibel were the first in France to demonstrate the ornamental potential of grasses, revealing the limitless possibilities that can be attained by exploiting their forms, their ability to capture light and their graceful swaying with the slightest breeze. Grasses are omnipresent in the garden in a stunning diversity of forms. From the supersized Miscanthus forming a cloister around a small pond set among square patches of wild herbs in the orchard, the delightful white inflorescences of Melica uniflora albida evoking a mist suspended in the air, to the small Agrostis tenuis that, on flowering, transform into a pink fog. The grasses come from around the globe and they invite visitors on an imaginary journey taking in the Grande Prairie of North America and the plains of Eurasia and northern Africa in a harmonious whole at Le Jardin Plume.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH Like the “secret groves” of formal French parks and gardens, Le Jardin Plume piques the curiosity of the visitor, whether through spaces that draw you in such as the Flower Garden enclosed in a lattice fence, but also spaces that reward the adventurous such as the Fireweed Drive and also the Fern Garden dominated by the spectacular American fern, Woodwardia unigemmata, with evergreen fronds. This year the garden has been expanded up to the edge of the forest, in the former prairie for calves. The poor soil there lends itself to the establishment of a flower meadow. For the moment though, the winding pathways, cut in a simple manner, invite visitors to indulge in idle daydreaming, in silence and among the scents of the wild herbs, and to feel like they are in communion with the immensity of the skies.

Le Jardin Plume Address: Auzouville-sur-Ry (Seine-Maritime, Normandy)

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

La Vague by Hokusai, a box hedge trimmed into waves, thrusts itself into your view. Its structure seems to hold back the ethereal exuberance of the grasses and the explosion of flowering perennials and annuals decorating the first garden that was named Le Jardin Plume. The same creative flair, unique and innovative, was subsequently applied to the other gardens, with the ensemble borrowing the name of the original garden while retaining all its novelty and charm, both classic and contemporary.


Our places of enchantment

Hôtel 5* Hameau Albert 1er, Chamonix Since 1903, five generations of the Carrier family have presided over this 5-star hotel complex resembling an Alpine hamlet at the foot of Mont Blanc.


A TASTE FOR AUTHENTICITY In 1998, three farms using traditional wooden architecture were painstakingly relocated to the site, lending it the cachet of a traditional Alpine hamlet. Mountain tree species and an orchard were planted in a 1-hectare garden through which two streams flowed. The orchard marks the passage of the seasons: flowering in the spring, fruiting in the summer, autumnal leaves and finally snow-covered silhouettes in winter. Indigenous species make up the lion’s share of

the aromatic herb garden and they elevate the cuisine served at the hotel’s two restaurants. SHARED VALUE Perrine Maillet-Carrier, who has headed the establishment since 2003, invites all guests to live “a wellbeing experience” within a setting respectful of the environment. In concrete terms, the hotel has made a commitment to sustainable tourism by following the criteria stipulated in the Clé verte certification programme, which include the control of water and energy consumption, waste management and the valorisation and conservation of the natural heritage of the Chamonix valley. Tectona furniture fulfilled all the longevity and resistance requirements for outdoor use here as elsewhere -from the spring thaw to the summer heat, from the autumn mists to snow-, while also blending in with the hotel’s sleek style, both traditional and contemporary.

Hôtel 5* Hameau Albert 1er Address: 38 Rte du Bouchet, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

The Hôtel Pension du Chemin de fer (Railway Guesthouse), the former incarnation of the hotel, was inaugurated two years after a railway station entered service at Chamonix. At the time, the clientele consisted of hikers, mountain climbers and assorted mountain enthusiasts who would arrive every summer to discover the extraordinary vistas dominated by Mont Blanc. The hotel rapidly earned a reputation for the quality of its cuisine, with a bell being struck to notify guests when meals were being served. Given the increasing popularity of winter sports, the hotel fitted out its rooms with heating. Notably, Chamonix hosted the first ever Winter Olympic Games in 1924 and the resort’s international success since then has never wavered.


Let’s talk design

Where creation is synonymous with passion ECAL (LAUSANNE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN) ECAL was founded in 1821 and, around the turn of the millenium, it emerged from near-anonymity to become one of the top ten schools of art and design in the world. The impetus for change was Pierre Keller (1945-2019), who was appointed Director in 1995 and transformed the school into a hothouse for talent, worldwide ambassadors for teaching who were at the cutting edge of knowledge and new technologies dedicated to creation. In 2007, ECAL relocated to a new site in Renens, in the Lausanne urban area of Switzerland, where it remains to this day. The former industrial site was transformed by architect Bernard Tschumi, with 18,000 m2 dedicated not only to industrial design, but also visual arts, graphic design, cinema, photography… In 2011, Pierre Keller was succeeded by Alexis Georgacopoulos.

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021



In 2011, Arnaud Brunel, owner of Tectona, was given a tour of ECAL by Pierre Keller. He was already aware of the school’s reputation, not least because its teaching staff included designers who had already worked with Tectona, namely Pierre Charpin and the Bouroullec brothers. Suitably impressed by the school, the teaching but also the works of the students, Arnaud Brunel entrusted the creation of a new collection to Adrien Rovero, a Swiss designer and ECAL graduate; the outcome was Tatami in 2013. CREATIVE AFFINITIES Since 2011, close ties have developed between Tectona and BIG-GAME studio, the three members of which are ECAL graduates; the first version of their Clubhouse collection, in teak, launched in 2017, followed by an aluminium version in 2020. In 2015, Tectona accompanied student Anthony Guex in his Master’s in Product Design. Drawing inspiration from Glenwood,

Tectona’s iconic bench, he proposed a contemporary version, Lausanne, which has been made since 2016. In 2017, for its 40th anniversary, Tectona launched a competition open to young designers for the design of a table+chair ensemble in teak. With assistance from BIG-GAME, eleven designers from around the world were selected. The five members of the jury, including Pierre Keller and Alice Rawsthorn of The New York Times, awarded the first prize to the Thai duo Thinkk Studio for Batten, a collection that has not stopped growing since its launch in 2017. A year later, Musée National Picasso-Paris linked up with ECAL for the creation of new seating for the museum’s visitors; the Muse bench put forward by Isabelle Baudraz was selected and its fabrication was entrusted to Tectona. Among the designers trained at ECAL and launched by Tectona, Julie Richoz designed, in 2017, the Cicala collection combining teak and stainless steel.


What explains the regular collaborations with Tectona? Apart from their incontestable knowledge, Tectona demonstrate a high regard for the role of designers and what they can contribute. The designer’s idea is always respected and never distorted by feasibility constraints; on the contrary, they seek solutions that can advance the technical approach so that the project is executed according to the designer’s wishes. How would you describe this distinctive relationship between ECAL and Tectona? It’s a relationship that has matured over time, over many years, on the basis of trust and respect. Tectona follows the School and its graduates and, apart from making furniture, we always find a way to work together and exchange ideas. Our relationship resembles a multifaceted friendship that goes beyond the confines of a standard design school/furniture maker tie-up.

Classic Contemporary

Our Autumn/Winter 2021 selection Day after day, the sun accelerates its trajectory across the sky, the air is filled with the scents of humus in parks and gardens and… jumpers and scarves make their appearance once again!

The orange tree planters of the 1800 collection have returned to the winter garden or the living room, their elegance ideally suited to interior decor.

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021


It’s the ideal time to enjoy the blazing beauty of trees and bushes while comfortably seated in a solid Exbury bench, which seems to have been there since time immemorial.



There, in front of the fireplace, it’s a joy to let your mind wander while seated on a Muse bench.


1. Discreet elegance. 1800 planter 2. Defy time. Exbury bench

Cushions and other summer accessories are now well sheltered in an Aladin chest.

3. Ingenuous design. Muse bench

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

4. Completely watertight. Aladin chest



Design focus

Biblos bookcase, for indoor use JUST PERFECT! Only a book lover could think up such a bookcase. And that aptly describes Alexis de La Falaise (19482004), a creator and aesthete who was driven by a love for art and design and a passion for the history of the decorative arts. The obelisk-shaped Biblos invites you on a journey to Ancient Egypt, to pay homage to the famous library of Alexandria. The bookcase, in satin-varnished teak, rotates and has castors for mobility. It accommodates books of all sizes from pocket-sized novels to oversized artbooks. A quick glance allows you to locate any book and pull it out effortlessly. A CREATOR “APART”

Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

With the exception of Biblos, a bookcase still made by Tectona, the creations of Alexis de La Falaise, notably his sofas, remain rare on the art market, making them even more highly prized by collectors. In 2000, Alexis de La Falaise, with his keen eye and inspired pencil strokes, breathed new life into certain traditional models. He was one of the first designers that Tectona worked with.


Biblos Bookcase (2003) Design: Alexis de La Falaise

Now’s the time to replace your parasol’s canopy for next year.



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Tectona • Autumn Winter 2021

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