Going above and beyond the manufacture of furniture, Alki is a committed cultural and economic stakeholder that strives to give purpose to its actions both today and over the long term. Manufacturing the Orria chair, a symbolic object associated with the historic Oval Reading Room at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the values that it embodies, makes perfect sense for Alki.
By combining both craft and industrial techniques, our workshop placed its unique expertise in working with solid wood and leather at the service of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Mobilier National, the French government agency responsible for conserving and curating both historical and contemporary collections, through designer Patrick Jouin and the Atelier de Recherche et de Création, which falls within the scope of the Mobilier National.
The rich dialogue between the various participants and their breadth and depth of focus over the course of this project, were instrumental in making the Orria reading chair a unique object and highlighted the concerted expertise, creativity and excellence of each stakerholder. The emotional resonance it imparts and the pleasure it procures for the reader will make the Orria reading chair an emblematic object for the Oval Room at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, evocative of France’s heritage.
There are now 150 Orria chairs furnishing the historic Oval Reading Room at the BnF. In line with the Bibliothèque’s inclusive principle of accessibility for all, the Orria project’s other ambition is public production of the chair in 2023.
Photography: Thomas Duval & Mito