HT Lux by Sand & Birch and Ellemme
If you thought Sand and Birch was a Bed and Breakfast on the Oregon Coast, think again. The name in fact refers to the firm of co-founders and collaborators Andrea Fino and Samanta Snidaro (which is "Sand" and which is "Birch" remains anybody's guess). The pair works well together because they bring diverse talents to Bear. Snidaro's background is in architecture, photography, and graphic design, while Fino's pedigree concerns law and visual communication. The diverse skill set has fed their interest on "shapes and design... devoting their efforts mainly to take other natures, hidden or sacrificed for the production demands, out of ordinary objects."
HT Lux. Designed by Sand & Birch and Ellemme.
The blurb sounds a bit cryptic to me, but I think if we apply it to the HT Lux wine storage unit (created in collaboration with Cantine Ellemme), it has something to do with locating a millennial identity for the staid notion of the wine cabinet. HT Lux is an upright, glass-fronted, temperature-controlled rectangular box. Its materials palette (besides the obvious glass) includes oak, maple, stainless steel, and LED lights. Its see-through side includes a UV-resistant element, which helps the precious elixir maintain its palatability without the ignominy of the proverbial dusty cellar. And it holds about 70 bottles among its cadre of adjustable shelves.
Sand and Birch characterizes the aesthetic of HT Lux as somewhat conservative, "more traditional and classic, since it’s part of a product range conceived for a wider target." But this quantification is in relative terms, since Opale Ellemme, the firm's earlier wine refrigeration unit, resembled nothing so much as a gigantic, elliptical, extra-terrestrial eye. HT Lux shares something of that piece's fondness for the futuresque. If I had to link it to some space-age personage, I'd say that Darth Vader (before the renunciation of his evil ways) might have gleaned a certain amount of consolation from its darkly glassy aspect. Here in 2010, Sand and Birch anticipates broad appeal among basement-less residential clients and the hospitality industry: "HT Lux can fit every setting and complete with class for hotels', restaurants', and pubs’ interior decorations and furnishings "