05 Feb 2021
“Meridiane” means “sundials” in Italian. It is also the name of the new collection of home accessories from LATOxLATO, the design studio founded by Virginia Valentini and Francesco Breganze de Capnist. This 100% Italian-made design celebrates the art and architecture of the Bel Paese through accessories, furnishings, and design objects.
The Meridiane collection is inspired by the sundials that decorate the façades of numerous Italian palaces and villas. The sundial is a truly ancient instrument, measuring the passage of time by way of the shadow cast by a tall central pin (the gnomon) on a painted horizontal or vertical surface. Now Virginia Valentini’s and Francesco Breganze de Capnist’s catalog of tributes to classical and Renaissance Italian architecture has an impressive new entry in “Meridiane.”
The metaphysical echoes of their earlier collections of vases and candelabras here return decisively in the decoration of these new pieces, becoming their defining characteristic. Here the shadows are not projected but are an indelible design on the white ceramic surface of the objects. Along with the volumes and geometric lines borrowed from architectural forms, they further emphasize the unique and precious character of each piece.
Shadows as Decoration, Decoration as Shadow.
Shadows and architectural forms. These are the key elements of LATOxLATO’s new Meridiane collection. Architectural forms and linear volumes come together to tell a story, brought to life by the superb handiwork and skill of the finest Italian master artisans: major collaborations that underline the uniqueness of LATOxLATO’s work, in particular the two designers’ dedication to their research and their deep and powerful bond with their homeland.
The materials used are the other star of the show. White, tactile ceramic recalls the classic Italian tradition of glazed majolica pottery and creates an ideal base for the play of shadows that characterizes the collection. Precious metals are used to accent the vertical elements - the gnomons - that “cast” the illusory, decorative shadows.
The juxtaposition of geometric lines and rich detailing makes this a collection that goes with everything. Perfect for contemporary environments or more classic interiors, Meridiane is for anyone in search of a decorative piece that is original and authentically Italian.
Four design accessories for four moments of the day.
The Meridiane collection includes four pieces: the round tray 06:45, the bowl 12:30, the rectangular tray 19:00 and the box 22:15.
Four pieces designed to mark the hours of the day like a sundial, from dawn to dusk. With a bonus. LATOxLATO’s Meridiane collection seems to borrow a Latin motto from a sundial found on a street in Rome: Horas non numero nisi serenas. “I don’t count the hours unless they’re pleasant ones.”
Essential forms, shadows, and fine details
Each piece in the Meridiane collection is made of glazed ceramic, with detailing in 24k gold, platinum, and copper.
The LATOxLATO design workshop was founded in 2018 by Francesco Breganze de Capnist and Virginia Valentini. Wanderers by calling and Italians by birth, Francesco is originally from Vicenza and Virginia is from Bologna. After graduating from Milan Polytechnic, they began working in the United States. A married couple, they are partners in work and in life, sharing a deeply creative and inquisitive bond.
In 2016, they opened their studio Spazio Primario in New York and worked on numerous projects, including retail space in Brooklyn, a bar/restaurant on Coney Island and various private residences on the Upper East Side. This experience abroad, which they continue alternately with their work in Italy, inspires them to invent out-of-the-box designs. Their passion for their roots, for Made in Italy artisanship and the rich heritage of Italian art and architecture blends together with an international and multicultural attitude. This gave rise to the concept of LATOxLATO, which debuts with its first collection of objects created according to an idea of contemporary luxury.
Natural and precious materials, 100% Made in Italy craftsmanship and unusual forms inspired by the rich heritage of Italian art and architecture.