During Design Miami/Art Basel, traversing a few miles in Miami can take an inordinate amount of time. So it's no surprise that there were fewer guests at the Holly Hunt showroom in Miami's Design District last Thursday than should have been there. Luckily, the traffic challenge enabled me to speak at length with Design Director Alberto V©lez, who spent years designing the first Outdoor Furniture Collection for Holly Hunt.
Spanning an impressive 24 pieces, the Holly Hunt Moray Outdoor Furniture suite includes dining and lounge chairs, chaises and sofas, and dining and occasional tables. Designer V©lez began by sketching a low-profile lounge chair entitled Omura, inspired by the work of Danish mid-century designer Poul Kjaerholm, who worked briefly for Fritz Hansen.
That piece, which features metal legs that yield triangular negative space, then formed the design vocabulary for the entire collection. "Horizontal in nature," V©lez explains, the collection is meant to recall the landscape. Combining sloping geometry with open forms, Holly Hunt's Outdoor Furniture achieves a sense of lightness.
Materials also differentiate the collection. For example, hollow cocktail, drink, and side tables are made from GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete), which creates a smooth matte texture. And the material is practical-heavy enough to stay in place yet light enough to move. The collection's lush outdoor fabrics also deserve attention, as they offer texture and luxuriance that belie their worry-free capabilities. Textiles resemble tweed and velvet yet are bleach-cleanable and colorfast.
Design details are smart and manifold. Arm and leg corners are softened by curves-an element that posed an engineering challenge. Ultimately, Holly Hunt's fabricators had to individually manufacture joints in order to maintain the design aesthetic. Wheels on the Moray Sun Lounger rest above the ground until the piece is tilted and moved. They are also thin and sculptural, like a Greek discus. And all cushions feature hidden panels that help drain water.
Holly Hunt Outdoor Furniture works equally well for residential and contract applications. In private or public spaces, the finished effect is one of luxury and repose.