In the world of high-end design, Italian brand Turri has built a reputation as solid as the furniture it has made over the past century. Known for finely tuned and subtly glamorous designs, a glance at its recent archive brings to light a roll call of prestigious projects, from penthouses and yachts to restaurants and hotels. And although Turri may not yet be familiar to UK consumers, this is set to change as the family-run brand opens its first showroom in London.
Like many of the very finest Italian furniture brands, Turri has grown from humble beginnings. Founded in 1925 in Carugo, in the heart of Italy’s Brianza region, the company is the creation of craftsman Pietro Turri, whose aim was to make furniture guided by the principles of authenticity and originality. Brianza, renowned worldwide today for its manufacturing heritage, was just starting to boom, thanks to its reputation for supplying the wealthy with finely crafted wooden furniture. (The story goes that this legacy dates back to the early 1800s when, legend has it, an exceptionally tall officer belonging to Napoleon’s army came to the town of Lissone to commission a craftsman to make him an extra-long bed.)
Seeing this flourishing creativity and industry, Pietro was struck by the idea of opening his own workshop– and Turri was born. The first piece of furniture sold was a wooden chest of drawers, but as the decades passed, his entrepreneurial spirit drove the workshop to encompass many materials and skills, including leatherwork, upholstery, lacquer, glass and brass – each element made by a skilled craftsperson with meticulously sourced materials.
The 1970s and 80s saw further expansion as the company opened, then swiftly outgrew, a series of production facilities to support its export to other markets. The 1980s was an especially successful time for the brand, as Italian design (homeware and fashion) was gaining global recognition and the tagline‘Made in Italy’ became a badge of pride.
In 2009, when Andrea Turri, Pietro’s great-grandson, took the helm, he developed a division to cater to large-scale contracts, while still delivering bespoke furniture. It also marked a turning point in the brand’s aesthetic as a contemporary line was introduced, bringing its craftsmanship to a new audience.
And so the latest chapter in Turri’s story is conquering the British market – its first UK showroom opened in London’s Design Centre Chelsea Harbour this September. Designed by Andrea Bonini, one of the brand’s lead creatives, the 200-square-metre space echoes the look of Turri’s flagship store in Milan and is dedicated to showcasing contemporary collections, such as the elegant and streamlined Zero range of furniture (See top: Dressing table, from £6,780; pouf, from £2,190; nightstand, from £3,650; bed, £10,450; bench, from £2,750; chest of drawers, from £8,160), one of its most popular lines.
‘Having our own factory in Italy means we can customise almost everything you can see in the showroom. Now we can help architects and their clients specify projects in person and show them what Turri can do,’ explains Larry Martino, Turri’s export manager. turri.it
This feature appeared in ELLE Decoration December 2019.
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