Sophie Dries Gives The Substance To The Aesthetic And Technical Innovation


The Parisian architect and designer Sophie Dries has collaborated with the Roman gallery Giustini – Stagetti, on the reinterpretation of the Roman column.

In line with her previous work on the manual coloring of travertine, a typical Roman stone, Sophie Dries has developed a polychrome collection with the gallery, Polychrome Columna. As archaeologists have revealed, the ancient marble statues were originally painted with natural pigments from plants or minerals (such as malachite, ochre, azurite, or madder). From this thousand-year-old polychrome postulate, Sophie Dries developed a technique for manually coloring the stone and applied it to the white travertine (typical of Navona Square in Rome), for her collaboration with the Giustini – Stagetti gallery.


Travertine naturally exists in its most common form in white, but also in red and saffron yellow, thus, the Polychrome Columna collection plays on the ambivalence between natural and artificial. Indeed, some pieces such as the coffee table presented for the first time for The Salon NY (in November 2019 at Park Avenue Armory) are made of naturally colored stone, alongside a collection of hand-dyed white travertine side tables. The column was created with the idea of inventing its own order (inspired by the ionic/doric/corythine series) and Sophie Dries mixed the pure form of the circle which encounters the triangle and played between fluted and other smooth and polished surfaces. These objects evoke a dialogue between alchemy and geological wonders/sculpture and function/physicality and optical illusion. The architect created unique design pieces to give substance to this aesthetic and technical innovation. These pieces are not made of assembled marble slabs, but are a shape carved into a solid block by a CNC machine and then tinted by hand.



All images with courtesy of Sophie Dries

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