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Tectona, the right design in the garden

Between the explosion of demand, concern for the durability of products and respect for the environment, the need for practicality and functionality, and design, which has definitely entered the garden, the outdoor furniture market is being transformed and reorganized. Also grows. Blanche Aloisi de Crepy, General Manager of Tectona, and Aymon Brunel, Director, give us their point of view.

Find our complete outdoor report in the issue 215 of Intramuros.

What major changes are you seeing in the outdoor market today?


Like all our colleagues, we are seeing an explosion in demand, both in the residential and contract sectors. On the one hand, we are paying particular attention to the durability of products and respect for the environment, and on the other hand, we are seeing an increased need for practicality and functionality. All of this in a context where design has definitely made its entry into the garden, and where the smallest square meter in the open air is the object of all the attention, very much influenced by the principles of interior design. The famous “In & Out”.

Siesta Hammock © Tectona

We are also looking for something more mixed in terms of functions, outdoor lounges or poolside where we dine, relax, etc. It seems to us that one of the main consequences of these developments is a multiplication of the offer at the extremes (from the very large to the very small). And it’s interesting to see how everyone has positioned themselves within these different market typologies, both in terms of ranges and prices, as well as choice of materials, shapes, textures and colors.

With Soleil, by Martin Szekely, you are launching a mono-material collection, very sculptural… almost against the current trend, which is more focused on color, material effects, especially textiles, large cushions…


Maybe. In any case, we are almost the only ones still making garden benches! As if this type of furniture had almost become obsolete. But that’s what Tectona is all about. Our brand was born in the garden, rooted in it. We like elegant and sober furniture, made with noble materials, including wood. Teak, a lot, and now larch and ash. Although we have also diversified our offer, especially with aluminum, a material that is practical and easy to use outdoors, to meet the demands of our customers.

Collection Quartier, design Camille Blin © Tectona
Soleil Collection, design Martin Szekely © Tectona

The introduction of larch was a suggestion by Martin Szekely: to use a species other than teak, which is certainly wonderful, so as not to limit ourselves. It is a rot-proof wood, very hard, which resists very well to temperature variations (-15 to 45 degrees), which is stable but also alive, which will patina, dig a little over time. We like that, this adequacy with the outside. It comes from European forests. And it lent itself particularly well to the theme of the collection: sun and shade, working with slats, solids and voids that give rhythm to the collection. This furniture is a sculpture and corresponds well to what we are: a company that likes to make simple and sober things for the outside. Unique, too. Even in terms of production, Martin Szekely’s approach is very interesting and corresponds perfectly to us. It mixes ultra-precise digital cutting and artisanal work for the assembly of the slats and the finishing, essential to find a beautiful hand, a beautiful quality of work. This year we have introduced other wood species, including ash, for the Siesta collection (hammock and chilienne). And we produce Soleil and Siesta in France, in a workshop.

What are your main areas of development today?


We edit furniture for life, to promote outdoor living, moments of joy, alone or with others. All the more so today. We are pursuing several objectives in this sense. Firstly, in terms of our offer, with the development of accessories for plants, lighting, parasols and outdoor showers. Both for residential and professional spaces, such as the office sector, where outdoor wellness is increasingly taken into account. Especially in the city, to get back in touch with nature. But we have also developed partnerships with cultural institutions such as the Picasso Museum, Versailles, or the Villa Medici. Cultural furniture is important to us.

Collection 1800 © Tectona

Secondly, continuing our collaborations with designers is essential. Design allows us to instill a new creative and brand dynamic. Throughout our history, it has been driven by beautiful encounters, a strong appetite for this discipline, visions and tastes shared with certain designers in particular. Strong choices. Typically, Martin Szekely brought us a very sculptural approach to furniture, working with new species, a renewal, a breath of fresh air. This is exactly what we are looking for through design. Just like in the collaboration with very young designers. Finally, we will continue to test new materials to their fullest potential. Because finding the right material today also means thinking about what its use requires in terms of energy consumption (extraction, transformation, transport), etc. And to make sure that our products are more timeless than trendy, and durable in quality and design. Tectona has a very complete relationship with time: the seasons, transmission, shared time.