Emil, a light and versatile accessory

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The small table by Frank Rettenbacher for Zanotta conquers those who love the contemporary minimal-style.

«It looks like “shelf on legs” with a very up-to-date look, suitable for easy and “nomadic” use in every corner of the house, as well as in modern offices. The metal frame features extra-thin thickness providing a slender identity reminding the furnishing elements from the Seventies». The young Austrian designer Frank Rettenbacher, who lives and works in Amsterdam, speaks about Emil like the outcome of a research that he cares of very much, involving not only his work but also his life: «my first baby was just born when I started designing this small complement, and I longed for useful and helpful objects that could be like a background of more important furniture pieces, providing also a colourful and joyful support. When you have small children you realize that your home needs surfaces able to welcome small things that need to be at hand without creating a sense of disorder. Pleasant and “kind” shelves that can be simply moved in the various home areas, light and strong at the same time. That’s why Emil legs are reinforced by thin steel rods, wrapped one on the other to strengthen the frame». The experience gained at Philips and Audi, as well as on Dutch TV sets, gave Frank Rettenbacher the possibility to design Industrial design objects ranging from consumer’s electronics to lighting and functional furnishing. With an eye on new trends and with a glam footprint that wins a wider audience. From here the cooperation with Zanotta during Milan Furniture Fair 2014 started off. «My idea to create a “family” of small tables for a modern and “light” living room, employing metals with a reduced thickness, immediately caught Zanotta’s interest. We refined together the research of reinforcement points and of the top finish. The result in my opinion (but not only) is excellent: the table-top in steel has only a 3 mm thickness and appears to float above its metal base. The glossy surface gently reflects all the little things that are hosted on it, while the colours match the most fashionable colours: from white, pink, red-burgundy to black». Emil in day-and-night version can be used as service table as well as a night stand. Emil in metal version is available in the shade black, white, burgundy and with pink top on a white painted frame. Three years later, on the occasion of the Salone 2017, Emil has a new outfit with two new frames – polished brass-finished or polished coppery steel – and a new solid wood top respectively in natural painted Canaletto walnut or in natural painted oak. The table top, with its rounded off corners, seems to fluctuate over the base in metal reinforcing rod and it looks like it has a smooth touch, when you move it. Frank Rettenbacher says: «Over the past years, I explored and tested new materials and colours and together with Zanotta we envisioned the solid wood top contrasting beautifully with the bright coppery or brass-finished base.» This is a design passe-partout product which crosses over into the most refining domestic atmospheres, once well-dressed.