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Wallpaper - - Column The Vınson Vıew -

aniel Libe­skind and his wife (and busi­ness part­ner) Nina are wait­ing for a train to Som­er­set un­der the four-sided clock at Lon­don’s Water­loo sta­tion. It’s just past ten in the morn­ing on Fri­day the 13th (of July). The fact that Don­ald Trump is in town is adding to the date’s tra­di­tion­ally doomy at­mo­spher­ics. ‘Look at this,’ says Libe­skind, show­ing us a snap of the in­fa­mous Don­ald baby blimp. ‘I think it’s bril­liant. So funny. That’s the kind of thing that will an­noy him, he’s so hu­mour­less.’

The track num­ber ap­pears on the timetable; we shuf­fle aboard. But about an hour into the jour­ney the train is di­verted: there’s a cow on the rails, poor thing. We ar­rive at our stop nearly four hours af­ter de­par­ture. There, a jazzy new Land Rover whisks us down wind­ing coun­try roads, up a small gravel path and de­posits us in front of a for­mer barn, now a metal work­shop.

Wait­ing in the cen­tre of the lofty main space, against a back­drop of heavy ma­chin­ery and the ripe smell of ma­nure, is the thing we’ve all come to see: a 350kg fu­sion of bright white Car­rara mar­ble and bronze gone bril­liantly blue thanks to a chem­i­cal treat­ment. A seat, a sculp­ture, a piece of ar­chi­tec­ture, it is a hunky block of quin­tes­sen­tial Libe­skind lan­guage: all hard lines and im­pos­ing an­gles, yet some­how more po­etic than bom­bas­tic.

‘I’m very happy,’ says Libe­skind, see­ing the com­pleted piece for the first time, run­ning his hands across its planes. ‘It reads like the model of a build­ing: it gen­er­ates con­text, cre­ates ar­chi­tec­ture rather than re­sponds to it.’ The train ride and un­pres­i­den­tial dis­trac­tions for­got­ten, he sits down and tries out this now phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of his imag­i­na­tion. ‘It’s ac­tu­ally re­ally com­fort­able,’ he says, sound­ing al­most sur­prised.

The chair will make its de­but this Septem­ber as part of Libe­skind’s first solo ex­hi­bi­tion with one of Lon­don’s most estab­lished de­sign des­ti­na­tions, the David Gill Gallery in St James’s. ‘I wanted Daniel to cre­ate some­thing that he had

A fierce-look­ing con­sole fea­tur­ing bands of sharp-edged stain­less steel

A mon­u­men­tal, 5m-long glass and stain­less steel din­ing ta­ble

A fu­tur­is­tic stain­less steel and car­bon fi­bre arm­chair

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