Precision engineering and precious metals come together in the latest Le Gramme collection – ‘cable bracelets’ drawing inspiration from architecture and the construction of cable-stayed bridges.
San Francisco, Yokohama, Normandy, Sydney, Suez... examples of these monumental structures are found on every continent. Recognisable by their twisted-metal cable stays anchored to huge pylons that support the deck, they seem to naturally defy the laws of gravity. It is undoubtedly the rigorous approach to each step – installing the pylons, tensioning the cables, calculating the spans – that gives them this almost musical majesty found in string instruments. There are two main configurations for the cable stays on this type of bridge: fan and harp design.
Since the first two cable-stayed bridges, which were constructed almost simultaneously in France and Sweden in the 1950s (Donzère-Mondragon in the Auvergne of France and Strömsund in Sweden), some 150 such bridges have been built worldwide. Each new construction draws on multiple skills, faces new technological challenges and sets new records. The Russky Bridge in Vladivostok is currently the world’s longest, with its 1,104-metre deck (compared to 1,088 metres for the Sutong Bridge in China and 856 metres for the Pont de Normandie in France) and its 584-metre cable stays. It can withstand the effects of marine conditions and extreme cold, including Siberian storms. The Millau Viaduct in France – with its 343-metre pylons lifting the deck 270 metres above the ground – is also a record holder.
The combination of lightness and solidity inherent in these bridges has inspired LE GRAMME to juxtapose the strength evoked by the cable and the preciousness of silver and gold, creating its own version of an indestructible connection with a resolutely masculine approach to design.
For these new worn objects, LE GRAMME reinterprets the cable stay, transforming 925 sterling silver and 750 gold, drawing out these precious metals into multiple strands of silver or gold wire which are combined to vary the diameter of each cable. The ferrule on the cable stays has metamorphosed into a clasp with an invisible join. While functional in essence, the clasp has a jewel-like quality; its diameter varies according to that of the cable and it can be left visible or worn under the wrist. Its tubular structure is moreover slightly reminiscent of another architectural icon favoured by LE GRAMME – the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which echoed the utopian architectural ideas that came out of Archigram and Superstudio in the 1960s.
Photographer: Victoire Le Tarnec
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