Xavier Lust’s new home and exhibit in the abounding Ixelles neighbourhood of Brussels is an aboriginal modernist anatomy that still bears a assurance declaring ‘Imprimerie des Sciences’, a antique of its accomplished as the adjoining university’s centralized book shop. It is lower in acme than the neighbouring buildings, but Lust was fatigued to its abounding attic space. ‘I started my career with no money, no collection, and no space’, says the Belgian appliance and autogenous designer. ‘My antecedent abode had baby rooms, tiny stairs. I bare a abode like this.’
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The building’s two-year apology complex alone almost accessory modifications, bar one aloft change of Lust’s own devising. Calm with a bounded glassmaker, he developed laminated bottle skylights to alter four polycarbonate half-cylinder ceilings on the arena floor. The bifold ceramics shuts out all noise, from the alive babble of the adjoining academy amphitheater to the pattering of rain, and creates alluring patterns of ablaze on the exhibit walls.
‘Renovating was not accessible or fun,’ says Lust, ‘but I absolutely acknowledge it now that it’s finished. I can amalgamate assignment with activity here. There are no hours for me; I assignment all the time, everywhere, anywhere. My academician is consistently active. We designers are all like that. It’s added difficult aback you accept a family. Sometimes they crave your attendance aback you’re not ready,’ he laughs, apropos to his adherent and their adolescent son. ‘Now I’m closer, and can say hi a few times a day.’
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The dining room, with appliance including Lust’s ‘S’ table, ‘Fireworks’ chandelier, and aluminium ‘T-Chairs’ and ‘4U’ chair. Photography: Frederik Vercruysse
Lust’s appointment is adjoining to the white-walled arcade and exhibit on the ground-floor. Upstairs, the active spaces are in a ‘Belgian style’, he says: classically ample apartment with herringbone parquet floors and aerial ceilings. His designs booty pride of abode throughout, including in the dining area, area his Calder-inspired ‘Fireworks’ chandelier hangs aloft a bottle ‘S’ table with brownish abject – ‘an affecting piece’. Lust agape bottomward a bank here, aperture up the amplitude into the active room, in adjustment to actualize a ‘long proportion, as in a Venetian palazzo’. The active amplitude is furnished with added of Lust’s designs, all angry calm by their aqueous affection and able construction.
On the roof terrace, the across of Lust’s achievement becomes clear. Beyond alfresco pieces such as the arresting ‘Volupté’ bench, a brace of ‘Flow’ sofas, and ‘La Grande Table’ with four bankrupt aluminium ‘Bwb’ chairs actualize an agreeable ambience that Lust appropriately employs for amusing functions and accessible events. There’s additionally a antic ‘Picnik’ table befuddled in for acceptable measure. Produced by the Belgian aggregation Extremis, it is the aftereffect of a accord with its buyer Dirk Wynants.
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Lust advised autogenous architecture at Brussels’ Institut Saint-Luc, and continues to accept commissions for renovations and extensions. He was drawn, though, to the altered challenges of automated design. ‘I like the angle on architecture as formulated by Raymond Loewy in his book Never Leave Well Enough Alone,’ Lust says. ‘For me, architecture is the aftereffect of an blueprint that takes into annual four parameters: functionality, beauty, technology and culture. Architecture is about authoritative activity better, added beautiful. It’s one of the elements of an absorbing life.’ Lust was anon tagged ‘Starckino’ – not because of any similarities in artful with Philippe Starck, but rather for his arresting career trajectory.
Lust with his ‘Blob IV’ mirror and ‘Continent’ console. Photography: Frederik Vercruysse
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Still, Lust is agog to emphasise that what has aggressive his sculptural, amoebic forms best is connected comedy and analysis with materials. ‘In 1998 and 1999, I was self-producing models of appliance in an old abode that had a café on the arena floor,’ he recalls. ‘I had the time to go aback to absolutely creating, and I had the abstraction of folding a metal area three-dimensionally.’ In accord with a aggregation in Antwerp, Lust put this to the analysis and admired the result. Seeing that it had worked, he connected to aftermath chairs application the technique. But aback he went about authoritative a bank in the aforementioned way, a aberration occurred, a affable ambit that characterises the design. It’s as if ‘the actual alternate in the process’, says Lust. ‘An induced movement bent the final shape.’ He considers the self-standing bench, alleged ‘Le Banc’, a ‘perfect project’ in its ‘economy and functionality’. ‘The appearance is natural,’ he says. ‘It’s abutting to vegetal shapes and anatomy shapes.’ The bank was presented at the third copy of Milan’s Salone Satellite in 2000, area MDF Italia best it up. At the show, Lust was alien to added aloft Italian brands, such as Boffi, De Padova and Cappellini, which saw the adolescent designer’s potential. He additionally met Terence Conran, whom he apparent lying on the floor, analytical his aluminium bench’s underside.
Seventeen years on, Lust is self-producing baby editions but additionally creating automated architecture on a beyond scale, experimenting with economical means of producing. ‘I like to accomplish aural altered scales of assignment and amid altered typologies,’ he says. ‘I don’t like to echo myself. Aback a allotment materialises and you angle in advanced of it, it’s consistently a surprise. Even if you apperceive what it will attending like – the affect of seeing this new object’s body is extraordinary.’
Lust’s designs accept a accurate accent to them, a agreeableness that has helped them accomplish their way into galleries such as Ralph Pucci in New York, Nilufar in Milan and Galerie du Passage in Paris. In Brussels, his home/gallery covers all of his achievement to date: ‘It’s a affluence to accept these altered atmospheres in which to appearance my work’, he beams. ‘From the automated appearance of the office, appropriate up to the atmosphere of my own home. It’s abundant to see my appliance actuality used.’
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As originally featured in the January 2018 affair of Wallpaper* (W*226)
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