Heaven's Gate
Wallpaper|August 2017

The Portal’, by Snøhetta, Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik and Everything Elevated.

Jonathan Bell
Of all the pieces in this year’s Handmade show, few were as literal in their desire to transport worshippers at our temple of divine design to a higher plane as the mysterious ‘Portal’. Bringing together award-winning Norwegian architects Snøhetta with Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik, one of Denmark’s most iconic modernist manufacturers, and aided and abetted by dynamic Norwegian duo Marius Myking and Martin Nichols, of creative agency Everything Elevated, ‘The Portal’ is a sculptural piece designed to be a literal representation of a path to the infinite beyond.

The project was a true collaboration between these three Scandinavian outfits. Their very secular approach to sacred spaces invoked spiritual drama with a combination of exceptional craft, clever design and striking simplicity. The prime directive for this particular piece was to draw the eye upwards and inwards, showcasing Erik Jørgensen’s attention to detail without the object getting lost in the exhibition space.

‘Erik Jørgensen’s CEO, Niels Jørgensen, came to us for a workshop in Oslo,’ says Snøhetta’s Stian Alessandro Ekkernes Rossi. ‘The company had already been thinking about the project for a while.’ Initial suggestions sought ways of translating Erik Jørgensen’s sublimely elegant seating products into some kind of hallowed hideout. Snøhetta and Everything Elevated worked with the manufacturer on a more abstract way of incorporating craft and materials into a piece that fulfilled the brief, as well as making a suitable statement in our Handmade space in Milan’s Mediateca Santa Teresa, with its high ceiling and columns.

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