Robb Design Portfolio: Primary Colors

<< Back to Robb Report, April 2003
  • Adele Cygelman

“A syncopation of space, form, and color,” says architect Alexander Gorlin, the proud papa of a piano that looks like a cross between a Mondrian painting and a Gerrit Rietveld chair.

Gorlin won the first International Piano Design Competition, sponsored by Maximiliaan Rutten for the 10th anniversary of his company, Maximiliaan’s House of Grand Pianos. The winning design, an audacious composition in red, yellow, and blue, was dubbed “Architecture Is Frozen Music,” in homage to Goethe. Rutten even commissioned an original work of five short pieces for the occasion by composer Anna Bogolyubova, one appropriately titled “Broadway Boogie.”

Made by Pianova in Germany of molded birch and spruce with a lacquered finish, the $185,000 piano was intended to enhance the performance and tonal quality of modern compositions. Gorlin, whose mother was a piano teacher, kept the classic body and mechanism (“why mess with something that has been perfected over a hundred years?”) but exploded the form and covered the case in primary colors. The deconstructed shape is a deliberate play on the influence that piano curves have had on modern architects, especially Le Corbusier.

“This piano should be de rigueur for any respectable modern house,” Gorlin says. “I see it in a residence or at the Mondrian hotel in Los Angeles. And all digital sound systems should be complemented by the latest in pianos.”

Maximiliaan’s House of Grand Pianos, 212.689.2177, www.pianomax.com

From Around the Web...
Stanley Bard part-owner and manager of Manhattan’s legendary Chelsea Hotel
The art collection of legendary Chelsea Hotel manager Stanley Bard will hit the auction block…
Rothko’s No. 1, painted in 1949 as the first in a series of 12
No. 1 and Transom will hit the block as two of 50-plus lots at a Christie’s London sale in New York…
Heartfelt correspondence and stunning jewels are among many remarkable items set to cross the block...
The Beatles, Bob Marley, and Barbra Streisand all hit the auction block in this landmark sale…
A rendering of the new Christie's center in Beverly Hills.
Set to debut in April, the 5,400-square-foot center will feature two floors for sales and events…
More than 100 of Britto’s original works will be on exhibit and for sale…
Phillips auction house’s Robert Manley shares the secrets to building a successful art collection…
The ultra-exclusive writing instrument collection abounds with diamonds and gems that twinkle like...
AP/REX/Shutterstock
The lineup of heavy hitters include articles once owned by Evel Knievel, Babe Ruth, and Jim Brown…
UI/REX/Shutterstock
Although left on the block, the psychoanalyst’s signed oath and letter can still be bought online…