GamFratesi: A Study in the Beauty of Contrasts
Born out of a fusion of classic Danish tradition and Italian quality, furniture design studio GamFratesi was established in 2006. Founders Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi describe their approach to design as both traditional and experimental, with an aim to “create furniture that illustrates the process and the techniques that created it, and which reflect a persistent exploration of the diverse border zone between harmony and disharmony.”
The architectural duo split their time between their respective hometowns of Copenhagen and Pesaro, drawing inspiration from their travels and from the design traditions of both countries.
“Contrasts are often the center of our inspiration. Both in work and daily life we are constantly confronted with contrasts, and we do work a lot with references and respect to traditions in both our cultures. We both have roots in strong design cultures. Studying, researching and moving constantly between our two countries, it has become such a natural part of us, that it will also show in our work,” the couple says.
Recipients of numerous design awards, GamFratesi’s exquisite projects range from stunning restaurant interiors to the famed Beetle Chair.
The iconic Beetle was inspired by the prominent insect, which is visible in the chair’s shape and structure. It was created for GUBI in 2013 and first presented at Milan’s annual Mindcraft exhibition.
A favorite at renowned restaurants around the world, the Beetle boasts a comfortable design and finish optionality, making it an excellent fit for a wide variety of interiors.
“We first found inspiration in the anatomy and aesthetic of the beetle. We reinterpret the beetle’s hard and characteristic shell and structure in a chair that, like an actual beetle, has a hard exterior and a soft interior. This insect has a very delicate form, but with an important functional aspect,” Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi said of the Beetle.
Take a journey through the truly captivating world of the gorgeous GamFratesi-designed interiors.
The Harlan & Holden Glasshouse at Rockwell (Manila)
Located in the hectic Philippine capital, the Harlan & Holden Glasshouse Cafe is a dreamy refuge of tropical allure right in front of one of Manila’s most popular shopping malls.
According to the designers themselves, the breathtaking design centers on “breaking the boundaries between indoor and outdoor” and showcases, among other pieces, the Beetle Bar Chair, available at Rouse Home in your choice of fabric and base finishes.
Mint-colored upholstery dominates this verdant design along with rattan furniture, a stone and terrazzo bar, and wood and stone tabletops.
Surrounded by the urban sprawl of Manila, this chic and elegant decor perfectly encapsulates the GamFratesi design philosophy.
GamFratesi designed the interiors of the two restaurants located in The Danish House in Paris (Maison du Danemark) on the famed Champs-Élysées.
The fine-dining restaurant Copenhague is a luxurious, intense and sophisticated experience. Dark blue walls grace the interior of the Copenhague, paired with large mirrors and Greta Grossman’s Cobra Lamps designed for GUBI. Cobra Lamps can be found at Rouse Home.
Interspersed with white porcelain, the moody interior features Raf Simons Kvadrat textiles for the curtains and tablecloths and the Masculo Chair, offered in the fabric of your choice at Rouse Home.
Flora Danica (Paris)
The second restaurant in the Danish House is the quaint high-end brasserie Flora Danica. The custom furniture for Flora Danica was created in partnership with GUBI specifically for this eclectic restaurant that serves contemporary Danish dishes with a French twist.
Named after the comprehensive botanical atlas that documents Denmark’s plant life between 1761 and 1883, Flora Danica has the feel of a beautiful, lush orangery.
In contrast to Copenhague, the brasserie enjoys an abundance of natural light. Green and gray hues dominate the design that spreads across a marble floor, offset by the black and brass bases of the Beetle chairs in various textiles. The TS Table is prominently featured in the Danish restaurant as well.
The focal point of Flora Danica is the luxurious green marble bar lined with Beetle Bar Stools. The bar exuberant display is supplemented with a geometric floor.
A large wall display featuring Flora Danica drawings completes this perfect mixture of Art Deco and Nordic design, right in the heart of Paris.
Housed in an iconic 1930’s building, Verandah was a river-view, contemporary Indian restaurant closed in 2016. As with other GamFratesi interiors, the space possessed a greenhouse feel to it, this time in a cool-toned palette of grays and blues.
The copper Orient pendants from Lightyears gave Verandah a rustic note, while the special edition Beetle Bar Chairs provided the now-closed venue with just the right touch of Danish elegance.
Among GamFratesi’s numerous impressive pieces, here is a selection of our most favorite works.
The Haiku Sofa
Inspired by the simplicity of the eponymous Japanese poetic form, the Haiku Sofa was launched by Fredericia in 2012.
The dazzling design combines a rigid outer shell with a soft and cozy inner seat that perfectly suits both public spaces and private homes.
The Masculo Chair
The Masculo chair comes in a lounge and dining version. GamFratesi’s vision for these pieces designed for GUBI was a marriage of contrasts in the masculine back/arm section and the feminine leg base.
Simple and elegant, the Masculo Chair is offered in a variety of fabric choices and base styles.
The TS Table Collection
The previously mentioned TS Table, designed for the Standard restaurant in Copenhagen, comes with a glass or solid marble tabletop that rests on a slim, criss-cross frame.
The different sizes and colors of the tables can be combined into a small group or used individually for adding a hint of luxury to your preferred space.
The Bat Lounge Chair
With its distinctive shell that evokes a bat’s wingspan, the Bat Lounge Chair is available in both high and low back versions.
Optionality also makes the Bat Lounge Chair suitable for a broad array of settings, although we personally prefer this comfy piece for curling up with a good book in the living room.