Martin Massé designs chunky Orsetto 02 coffee table for STUDIOTWENTYSEVEN

Words India Block
Photo Arthur Fechoz

Architect Martin Massé has designed Orsetto 02, a rounded stone coffee table, for the New York gallery STUDIOTWENTYSEVEN

The Orsetto 02 is formed of a wide, rounded mushroom-style tabletop supported by a ring of stubby legs

It is part of a collection of furniture called Orsetto designed by French architect and designer Martin Massé for the gallery. Orsetto means baby bear or teddy in Italian, and the pieces of furniture all have a cute, chubby appearance despite being made of unyielding stone

Massé said the collection references the work of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, who co-founded Studio Ghibli. One of Miyazaki‘s most famous anime characters is Totoro, a rotund forest spirit that is a mix of cat, racoon and owl

All of the collection’s tables have rounded legs that look like the limbs of a teddy bear. The collection also includes soft furnishings such as poufs and chairs in a similar cuddly style. The Orsetto 02 coffee table sits low to the ground. At only 35 centimetres high it comes up to the shins of a standing adult

Despite its squishy appearance, thanks to the creamy smooth stone and soft edges, the table is heavy enough to need to be winched in place to be moved safely. The Orsetto 02 was fabricated by stonemasons at the Ateliers Saint-Jaques in France’s Chevreuse valley

Just 12 of the coffee tables, which are hewn from Italian Pietra dei Medici marble, have been made

STUDIOTWENTYSEVEN, which also has a gallery in Miami, recently showcased an entire collection of furniture made from the same limestone, designed by French designers Francesco Balzano and Valeriane Lazard

Called Primitif, it included a stool, table, bench, side table, coffee table, jars, wall light and paperweight. Its monolithic forms were created, said the designers, as a tribute to Stonehenge

Because of its heft, limestone is more commonly used as a surface in interior design, or as an architectural element. It is less usually chosen for furniture

To change this perception, a group of students at Estonian Academy of Arts, who designed a collection of furniture made a traditional Estonian limestone. Called Dig Where You Stand, it includes a spinning floor lamp