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A new Audemars Piguet lounge at Art Basel
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A new Audemars Piguet lounge at Art Basel

Thursday, 18 April 2019
By The FHH Journal editors
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The FHH Journal editors

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2 min read

At the recent Art Basel Hong Kong, Audemars Piguet hosted a new lounge concept by Brooklyn-based artist and designer Fernando Mastrangelo, inspired by the Swiss Jura, the home of Fine Watchmaking. This calming space will be part of the three editions of Art Basel 2019.

Mastrangelo is known for crafting sculptural objects from natural materials, including salt, sand and rock. His new lounge concept titled The Vallée invites visitors to experience the Vallée de Joux, cradle of Swiss Haute Horlogerie and home of Audemars Piguet since its founding in 1875. By deconstructing and reconstructing nature and playing with time’s geological manifestations, Mastrangelo creates a dialogue between past and present, interlinking the purity of nature and the passing of time, which aptly resonates with Audemars Piguet’s craftsmanship.

Audemars Piguet lounge at Art Basel 2019
Audemars Piguet lounge at Art Basel 2019

As Mastrangelo explains: “It has been so rewarding to work with such a wonderful team on the Audemars Piguet Lounge. When I visited Audemars Piguet’s home in Switzerland, I was struck by the location’s timeless beauty and the technical mastery demonstrated by its watchmakers. Material elements are integral to their roots and at the core of my practice. The result is a design that experiments with forms, materials, and textures and creates a universe inspired by the Vallée de Joux.”

Audemars Piguet lounge at Art Basel 2019 (Watchmaker desk)
Audemars Piguet lounge at Art Basel 2019 (Watchmaker desk)

Minerals extracted from the region have been cast and repurposed into walls, display cases, and furniture. At the centre of the lounge, a forest made of sand and silica-moulded spruce trees showcases examples of the Manufacture’s latest collection, Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet, as well as vintage watches of unconventional design. Behind the watchmaker’s desk in the technician’s corner, a wall of strata appears as a disassembled expanse of the Vallée de Joux’s Combe Noire quarries. This Strata Wall also displays five intrinsic components of Audemars Piguet’s latest watch collection—gold, brass, aventurine, sapphire glass and iron—depicting its history rooted in the region and the intricate process of Haute Horlogerie.

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