Renowned French creator Philippe Starck has been drawing up unconventional ideas for the last four decades. One of the most influential designers of the modern era, his creative vision has led to thousands of cutting-edge interior, product, industrial and architectural projects.
Here, Forbo Flooring Systems explores seven of Starck’s most iconic creations.
1. Kartell La Marie Chair
As the world’s first completely transparent chair made from a single polycarbonate mould, La Marie combines ergonomic design with an exceptionally robust structure to produce a strong, simple, lightweight and shock resistant chair. Designed for use both indoors and outdoors, the La Marie brings airiness to a clean, modern space with the vibrant shades adding a pop of colour to any minimalistic scheme.
2. Maison Heler Metz, France
In the heart of the newly developed Quarter de l’Amphithéâtre, Maison Heler Metz will be the first hotel entirely created and developed from the ground up. Maison Heler will be part of the Hilton Group’s Curio Collection, a portfolio of nearly 50 upscale hotels handpicked for their character and personality. The unique phantasmagoric 14-storey hotel will compromise a monolithic building topped by an 18th century traditional Alsatian home. The 119 guest rooms and suites are accompanied by a rooftop terrace with a garden and have views overlooking the city.
3. Asahi Beer Hall
Also known as the Super Dry Hall, one of Tokyo’s most notable landmarks is famous for the golden ‘Asahi Flame’ on top of the shiny black building. The unusual but striking piece of architecture is located close to Asakusa, on the east bank of the Sumida River, where it is impossible to miss. The golden structure is said to symbolise the burning heart of Asahi Beer, with the gold leaf finish of the flame gleaming by day and illuminating by night.
4. Alessi Juicy Salif Citrus Squeezer
The pioneering citrus squeezer remains one of the most popular and recognisable items from the Alessi range. The distinctive elongated shape of the product comes from an intuitive idea that came to Starck while he was on holiday in Italy. Squeezing lemon juice onto his calamari, Starck started doodling on a napkin – it was a lemon squeezer in the shape of a squid! The drawing was very similar to the finished product and now that napkin sits proudly in the Alessi museum.
5. Flotex by Starck
A collaboration between Philippe Starck and Forbo Flooring Systems, the Flotex by Starck collection challenges traditional perceptions in terms of flooring design. Thanks to advances in technology, this unique composition offers both textile elements and acoustic properties. Starck’s designs bring a human element to a technical product where the whole graphic and visual work is focused on developing a movement. The unique flooring, in three different designs – Vortex, Artist and Twilight – offers a multiplicity of patterns and possibilities, colours and combinations.
6. Microsoft Optical Mouse
Microsoft’s first designer mouse is an innovative combination of both performance and art. The stylish optical mouse features two buttons separated by a lighted strip, a scroll wheel and a unique, curving hemisphere. The ambidextrous design delivers comfort for both left and right hand users, while the aim of the designer mouse is to allow users to express their personalities through the products that they use each and every day.
7. Sailing Yacht A
The 468ft-long vessel with three 300ft masts makes Sailing Yacht A the largest of her kind. Worth over £360million and described as ‘the most futuristic yacht ever built’, this ultimate embodiment of German super yachts was built for the 22nd century. The ship design challenges the expectations of conventional aesthetics with unique features such as an underwater observation pod, state-of-the-art navigation systems, a helipad on the bow, garages for four vehicles and a glass hall.