Pivot by Sabine Marcelis
dutch designer Sabine Marcelis scatter it movable and rotatable controlled chairs for the Swivel series in St. Giles Square in London for London Design Festival 2022. Marcelis has selected the natural stones from a range of travertines, quartzites and marbles from Europe, the Middle East and Brazil, classifying them by color and their patterns and shades. The contrast emphasizes her design philosophy as the designer plays with the play of changing palettes to entice viewers to participate in the project. A ball-bearing mechanism allows Swivel’s rotating chairs to move smoothly. When a viewer is seated, they can swivel to face others, creating a sense of community and interaction that Marcelis wanted to evoke.
Maintaining the essence of juxtaposition follows the visual surroundings of Marcelis’ works blending with the surrounding Brutalist-like structures on site, constructed with concrete and designed with glass as the primary material. Sabine Marcelis’ Swivel lends the atmosphere the concrete narrative of a playground through seating, a gratuitous invitation to passers-by to stop, sit, spin, and savor the conversations that may follow. The designer collaborated with the stone brand SolidNature for the flagship project, supported by Almacantar.
images courtesy of SolidNature & Camron | header image and photo by Ed Reeve
Juxtaposition between soft colors and concrete architecture
Sabine Marcelis shares that Swivel celebrates her penchant for drawing on natural materials as a fundamental framework for what she creates. Her desire to respond to the space given to her series piqued her interest in infusing color and cheerfulness into the urban environment, a sort of throwback to her childhood where a carefree spirit lived. She deliberately handpicked the natural material in a range of colors that for her would imply a strong contrast between the surrounding architecture and the palette of man-made materials.
Since what she intended to present to pedestrians in Place Saint-Gilles would be about interactive gatherings, she positioned and crafted the design to allow the public to decide how they would like to experience the space. “It could encourage strangers to interact with each other, for friends to sit together, or even allow people to create a moment of pause for themselves,” she shares.
the Swivel series is at st. giles square in london for London Design Festival 2022 | photo by Ed Reeve
characterizing London’s summers and winters
Once viewers enter the plaza, the vibrant colors of Swivel, along with the stripes and splashes of lines that blend well with the original colors of the materials, greet them. SolidNature lists the names of the natural stones Marcelis used for the series such as Mermaid and Sunset Dune, Chess Fusion, Pistachio, Starry Night and Arctic Henna, their characteristics and hues complement the tones that characterize London’s hot summers and freezing winters. .
The area where the series is set is known to be a place of transition, from the underground rail links and performance venues that surround the area to the historic sites and experiential food halls that line the neighborhood. Swivel by Sabine Marcelis is a large-scale public seating program that will remain on site until November 2022.
Marcelis has selected natural stones from a range of travertines, quartzites and marbles | photo by Ed Reeve
a ball-bearing mechanism allows Swivel’s rotating chairs to move smoothly | photo by Ed Reeve