At the new Grupo Kettal shop in Coral Gables, Fla., the backdrops are minimalist, and on most days the space is filled with sunlight that pours through the two-story-tall glass wall fronting the building. The store, the first in North America for the Spanish outdoor furniture company (it has nine in Europe), is an ideal environment for viewing the furniture designs (priced from $700 to $9,000) and imagining them in sunlit alfresco settings ranging from patios to gardens to poolsides.
A month before opening the Florida shop, Grupo Kettal—which includes the Kettal, Triconfort, Hugonet, and Evolutif brands—introduced its Kettal brand’s Maia line. The furniture is the work of Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, whose Bague table lamp and Fjord armchair and footstool are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The Maia tables, chairs, and chaises are industrial interpretations of traditional weaving techniques. “When I was working on the collection,” says Urquiola, “I thought about the Spanish word malla, which means net.” Each piece consists of a woven fabric—a durable synthetic material that the designer calls tridimensional netting—that is applied to an aluminum framework. Machine-washable cushions on the chairs and chaises add comfort to the modern, geometric designs.
The Florida shop also displays the Triconfort brand’s new Biarritz deck chair by the Argentinean-born designer Jorge Pensi. Made of wood, aluminum, and lacquered resin, the reclining chair is roomy enough to accommodate two adults and features a canopy that can be folded down to provide shade or retracted to let in the sun. The seat adjoins the chair’s base via a single, central pedestal, enabling sitters to swivel the seat 360 degrees.
Grupo Kettal has evolved and grown considerably since 1964, when Manuel Alorda began distributing imported outdoor furniture in his native Spain. By the end of that decade, Alorda, who still serves as president, had expanded his Barcelona company, Kettal, to include the manufacture of his own designs. In 2002, he added the word Grupo to the Kettal name, reflecting that, over the years, his firm had acquired several outdoor furniture brands, including, in 1998, the Hugonet line from the luxury goods company Hermès.
The Hugonet collection, which Grupo Kettal refers to as its “haute couture” label, may pique the interest of those who wish to go bespoke, or nearly so, in their backyards. Every Hugonet table, chair, and chaise is crafted by hand from aluminum, and you select the hues that are applied to the frame, vinyl, and fabric. The idea behind the line, says Alex Alorda, Grupo Kettal’s vice president and Manuel’s son, is for the pieces to be “exclusive” to the client and that no two chaises need be alike.
Grupo Kettal, 786.552.9022, www.kettalgroup.com