At first glance, the Zayaz T4 looks a bit like the top of a large ice cream cone, with two giant logs of chocolate sticking out of it. Designed by Italian multidisciplinary studio Andrea Tognon Architecture, the chair is also known as the Iroko Concrete Chair. It forms part of the collection of unusual tables, chairs and lights for which the design studio is known.
The chair’s circular, two-tiered base is made of solid concrete, while its backrest comprises two slats made of Iroko, a hardwood that is indigenous to West Africa, and particularly common in Nigeria. Though the chair has a very simple look to it, the myriad differences between both materials, and between each of Zayaz T4’s three structural sections, make its overall design particularly noteworthy.
In terms of texture, the roughness of the chair’s base is contrasted against the smoothness of the seat and the wooden backrest. When considering colour and shape, it’s easy to see how the wood’s fixed rectangular form and inviting colour are emphasised by the concrete’s circularity and soft grey and white hues.
Known for his ability to develop and execute designs for brands such as Céline, Jil Sander and Max Mara, Tognon’s other concrete projects in the studio’s product range include the Zayaz T3, which is made up of three separate concrete blocks that can be assembled to create one unit, and the Dance Table. The studio’s work is diverse, aiming to understand and develop strategies of communication, branding and transforming spaces.From residences to public buildings, fashion stores and product designs, the studio draws its inspiration from various fields and professionals.
Photography: Andrea Tognon Architecture