The Elling buffet by Gerrit Rietveld embodies the essence of the De Stijl movement, where in pure abstraction of vertical and horizontal compositions and universality became popularized. For the design’s centennial, Cassina has produced the storage unit for the first time since its debut. Elling buffet’s pure lines create a grid based on a structural core to which surfaces, drawers and storage units are added.
The model is influenced by F.L. Wright and the Anglo-Japanese art of E.W. Godwin, particularly as it regards the accentuated horizontal surfaces, which are offset by the vertical supports which form a grid from which the storage compartments are hung. The supporting grid, virtually continuous, has contrasting sections of slats that exalt their dynamism towards the exterior.
Born in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1888, Gerrit Rietveld is known best for his architectural and product designs. In 1917, Rietveld opened his own furniture shop, with an aim for simplicity in construction, knowing that factory production was key to future designs. Not a year later, he opened his own factory and began shifting his color palette due to his discovery of the De Stijl Movement. After joining the De Stijl, he spent time exhibiting at the Bauhaus under an invitation from Walter Gropius, and created notable architectural projects. His most significant building is the Rietveld Schroder House, completed in 1924; it featured moving panelled walls and is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. By 1928, Rietveld shifted his design philosophy once again, breaking with De Stijl, as he opted for a more functionalist style of architecture. Noted furniture pieces by Rietveld include the Red and Blue Chair in 1917, along with the Zig Zag Chair designed in 1934.