First appearing at Sense of the Fanciful, Nilufar’s Milan 2010 show, L’Arco della Pace Bookcase by Martino Gamper plays with a few architectural elements, not the least of which is Milan’s arc of the same name. Built as part of the Piazza Sempione, Arco della Pace was begun in 1807 in honor of the diminutive emperor Napoleon. An ornate affair, the arch involves three gigantic Corinthian columns topped by four enormous statues of men of horseback.
L’Arco della Pace.
It seems so weighted by ornament that one wonders if it will topple over at any moment. In keeping with this topsy-turvy whimsy, Martino Gamper designed his bookcase to seem imbalanced, though it is architecturally sound. Colorful veneered poplar plywood segments screw together to form the telltale arch, which measures 124” h x 87” w.
Part rainbow, part threshold, L’Arco della Pace bookcase seems to be a passage to another world—one where everything is slightly off-kilter. A vertiginous, playful Alice-in-Wonderland aesthetic reigns here. The bookshelf is as much a portal, calling to mind the imaginary travels that reading makes possible. Gamper’s bookcase should be filled with books that force us to suspend our disbelief, just as the piece itself seems to live in a state of suspension. On the bookcase—and its segmented boxes help contain libraries by having a built-in organization system—we should set titles like Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees and Jean Dutord’s A Dog’s Head. One section can shelve children’s books of hallucinatory quality such as Where the Wild Things Are and The Cat in the Hat. Still another piece might hold classics of transcendental travel: Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days and Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Via Interior Design.