With its thin, intricate, overlapping pieces, the fascinating Alato Cabinet is the brainchild of design students Pakawat Vijaykadga and Jumphol Socharoentham of KMITL (King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang) in Bangkok, Thailand. Given the ornate beauty and timeless simplicity of the piece, both of the young designers surely have a bright future ahead.
The exceptional students designed the piece as a capstone project during their studies in the furniture and interior design major at the institute. The piece’s stunning blue gray hues add a magnificent quality of cool serenity to any living space while its shape and construction create an additional sense of contemporary wonder. Designed to mimic the way a bird’s feathers interplay and overlap, the thin, even, wooden forms come together harmoniously to all but take the viewer to another world.
The smooth and inviting curvature of the cabinet doors greets the viewers as the doors open smoothly to reveal the spacious two-shelf interior of the piece. The beautiful white top and interior match well with the cool tones of the soft wooden framed doors. Utilizing MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), solid ash, ash veneer, and metal, the piece stays light and sturdy while also packing a unique modern punch.
The Alato Cabinet is supported by four darker metal cylindrical pieces that elevate the piece off the ground. Each door features eight wooden dowels around which the thin wooden pieces are delicately woven. The five wooden pieces have subtle differences in size and shape, playing further on the inspiration drawn from the bird.
Perfectly combining functionality with aesthetics, the Alato Cabinet not only satisfies the senses, but also flawlessly encases whatever you hide inside its beautiful and amply spacious interior. The thin, somewhat coarse, feather-looking wooden strips contrast nicely with the smoother, thicker frame. Not surprisingly, the piece has been featured on several design sites and it may become available to the public if interest continues to grow.
While the creators may call the pattern of a bird’s feathers their primary inspiration for the piece, writers on design sites also compare the outer design to the scales of a fish, citing not only its unique look, but also its rough texture. The cabinet’s hinges seem to be made of twine or something similar. Given the design of the piece, incorporating other thicker and more bulky hinges would not only distract from the elegant, earthy simplicity of the piece, but also make it difficult for the doors to close around the cabinet’s curved sides.
With two smooth, beautiful, deep shelves and a divider in the middle, the inside of the Alato Cabinet boasts clean, rounded edges and features a soft white tone of paint. The simplistic interior is complemented by the beautifully complex exterior that some have compared not only to bird feathers and fish scales, but also the shingles on the roof of a home.
The piece is currently still a prototype, but because of the cabinet’s rare beauty and distinct almost mystical quality, potential owners have been overheard saying they plan to acquire home insurance simply to protect it from harm! That may sound farce, but given its popularity and novelty, one wouldn’t be surprised to see the statement actually hold true once the piece is released.