Andrea Branzi, Giuliano Cappelletti, Piero Lissoni, Gualtiero Marchesi and Alessandro Mendini exhibited their unedited masterpieces at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan 2011, at the Riva 1920 Stand from 12 to 17 April 2011. The new objects of design, in conformity with the key values proper of the already existing exhibition of Venetian Briccole, raise the issue of environmental friendliness and of historical commemoration. Total freedom of  expression and top-level results emerge from a constant research based on the adequate interpretation of reciprocal intents, and on the knowledge and sharing of artistic ideals.

UNICORNO by Alessandro Mendini

Briccole Collection – Riva 1920

When it carries out its function in the waters of Venice, the Bricola is a light and poetic item, one that reflects into the water a sort of soft elusiveness. Once its primary duty is over, when it is removed from its own “habitat” so to be re-placed, the Bricola becomes nothing more than a pole laying on the ground, where wearing effects and time damage the wood creating a harsh, uneven crust. That wood though, carries with it an important story and it is fascinating the idea of trying to bringing it back to life. In Alessandro Mendini’s case he wanted to obtain a gentle image, turning upside down the hardness of the trunk. The UNICORN, conceived in different forms, is an ironic stool, as if it were a good luck toy. A wooden toy, indeed, primordially-cut, as Geppetto did when he created Pinocchio. A toy for adults, with blue and round eyes made of Murano glass, and the horn made of golden bronze.

ANTI-COMFORT by Andrea Branzi

Briccole Collection – Riva 1920

The concept of “comfort” is not an ergonomic fact; we know that, at times, sitting on a stone or on a tree trunk can be cosier that sitting on a stuffed armchair. It depends on the state of mind… Given the “hard times” we are all going through, it is cautious to gear up with a more “hostile” though realistic design.

BRIC A BRAC by Piero Lissoni

Briccole Collection – Riva 1920

RIALTO by Giuliano Cappelletti

Briccole Collection – Riva 1920

Simplicity of forms and natural materials are peculiar elements of design, they are based on the deep relationship between nature and man, on its balance and harmony. This is why Giuliano Cappelletti used two natural, though very different materials that perfectly marry in the search for the ideal balance: briccole wood and cor-ten steel. Briccole are subject to many alterations throughout their lifetime in the water, they are shaped, worn out and smoothly caressed by the sea of the Venetian lagoon and by its inhabitants that leave behind visible traces of their presence. On the other hand, the cor-ten protects itself from atmospheric corrosion thanks to a superficial passive coat that prevents further damage. This is where RIALTO stems from, a container that, thanks to its structure that is thin yet strong, realized in cor-ten, preserves and frames the beauty of briccole’s “fragility”. Briccole, the unchallenged protagonists of Venice,  are here shaped and transformed, giving birth to the solid drawers of the container.

TAVOLO BRICCOLA by Gualtiero Marchesi

Briccole Collection – Riva 1920

Only a leaf could be more archetype than a wooden plate.  This especially, the tough briccole wood, tastes of sea and marine streets. Gualtiero Marchesi’s table rises smoothly, with a flute-shaped leg, and a squared top, like earth. After all, it looks like the designer himself.


Riva 1920


Riva 1920 has been producing furniture for three generations. Maurizio and Davide Riva are currently leading the company, started off by granfather Nino Romano in 1920 and carried on by their father Mario Riva. While thinking of the future and young generations, Riva 1920 inaugurates in 2001 the Museum of Wood, to hand down and not forget that wood is a renewable resource, but it is not infinite. Culture, design and social sensitivity have become a key feature of Riva 1920’s activities. The collaboration with design masters strengthened a philosophy characterized by a merging of functionality and aestetics, without ever forgetting the importance of healthy living and eco-sustainability. Special Projects were born out of this marriage between woodwork and geniality, such as the project aimed at re-utilizing Venetian Briccole, the millenary New Zealand Kauri wood, and the project Ground Zero, to remember the history of 9/11 through design masters.