Montreal, Canada, 2014-01-15 -
The Solo Cello is an exquisite hanging chair from the new collection by Guyon Workshops designer Félix Guyon. This unique piece can already found in hotels like the Alt Halifax and La Ferme in Baie St- Paul, winner of the Hotels and Service Retailers des Retail and Leisure Interiors Awards in 2012.
"The chair has been, for any designer throughout the ages, just as challenging stylistically as it is structurally. We often don’t realize the work that goes into the creation of the object. For me, the ultimate challenge in this domain is the suspended chair. It must be both delicate and ultra- robust, as it floats in the air. In addition, the chair is suspended in a monumental way that leads to more artistic expression, simply given the space it requires. "
Félix Guyon stands out as a result of his artistic approach to design. Promoting a polished aesthetic, contrasting eras, styles and materials, he seeks to create pieces that are unique as opposed to industrial. With quality materials purchased from local artisans, he ensures the promotion of Québec’s expertise and can oversee and ensure the quality and workmanship.
Showcased in Hotels
The Solo Cello is showcased in various luxury and boutique hotels. It is this approach that has attracted the attention of big players in the field of hospitality, such as boutique hotels ALT and Germain from the Germain group. The work of the young designer was also noticed by the Groupe Le Massif – owners of the Massif de Charlevoix and the Hotel La Ferme in Baie St- Paul – who called it “the most beautiful interior design in the world." Designed by architects LEMAYMICHAUD / STEM / Hudon Julien, Hotel La Ferme was honored with the prestigious Leisure Retail Interiors Awards 2012, winning first prize in the Hotels and Service Retailers category, against big players such as Armani Hotel in Dubai, the Four Seasons Guangzhou and the Lansbury in London.
For Félix Guyon, inspiration is everywhere. The inspiration for the Solo Cello came from a jewelry showcase in a gallery on Saint Laurent. The shape of the frame is based on a pair of earring that was on display as part of the show. The final concept has gradually moved away from the original idea, but the point remains the same: you can find inspiration anywhere!
Making a film about the construction of the suspended chair led to its name, the Solo Cello. It comes from the song that accompanies the video, Cello Suite No.1 by Johann Sebastian Bach. With its delicate shapes and elegant styling, this chair naturally evokes the beauty of a cello and the accompanying melodies that it yields.
Organic Creations and Methodology
For Félix Guyon's, overseeing a project is much like a conductor directing the musicians in his orchestra. He relates creation to an intricate ballet between form, materials, manufacturing techniques, and structural and cost challenges. All this must be carefully considered and validated with each pencil stroke in the design process, before adding a touch of wonder and poetry.
"I can spend days and nights working to achieve this balance. In these moments, my brain is at full throttle and my weeks go by like hours! I navigate the technical and economic constraints, using only my artistic instincts as a compass. "
For the suspended chair, which will be part of his next furniture collection, he confesses having cold sweats while successfully trying to find the perfect balance between strength and lightness, elegance, and that fine line between "art deco" and contemporary styling.
The Solo Cello is the first in a collection to be launched next year. It is likely to include a reading chair, a dining chair, a coffee table and light fixtures. The task is daunting because each piece can take several months of development.
Motivated by the desire to offer clients more finished products, and in an effort to diversify, the designer has somehow found his way back to his roots. For over ten years, Félix Guyon created custom interior design and furniture design for an international set including SID LEE Architecture and Jump Studios in London. He was raised by craftsmen parents who taught him everything. Today, he merges his lessons from the workspace and the fundamental skills learned over the years to bring his clients a product that is truly a labour of love.
A return to roots
Following his studies in France, after working in architecture in London and having accumulated many years of experience in design in Montreal at “The Firm”, Félix Guyon decided to return to his small hometown of Vercheres. He hopes to find tranquility and inspiration through the people who live there and who, like him, love their village.
“I have long sought to find the essence of myself, and gone far in my travels to find that essence, but I did not realize it was here, under my nose, in my own little village. The river, seasons, and people- Everything makes so much more sense now! "
It is no coincidence that Félix Guyon named his company Les Ateliers Guyon. The name originated in the 1970s, and was the design company founded by his family. The young designer now wants to take the old name into the future. "My grandfather was a cabinetmaker and manufactured “Vercheres boats" in the 1940s. My father and mother still carve Plexiglas. From generation to generation, we have always had a love of working with our hands, making something from scratch. Now that it’s my turn to be the artisan in the family, I hope to instill the same values in my nearly year-old son; the willingness to work hard, create something you love, and have a real passion for a job well done!”
Official Project Name: Solo Cello Chair
Client: Les Ateliers Guyon and Groupe Germain
Designers: Les Ateliers Guyon
Project Leader: Félix Guyon
Contributors: Julien Guyon (video), XTM powder coating (metal), Maylissa François ( leather)
Project end-date: September 4, 2013
Photographer: Félix Guyon
Production: Made entirely by hand in Quebec