A design icon
The Gyrofocus continues to symbolise aesthetic excellence. It has been seen everywhere from the Guggenheim New York to Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art, a wild deer observation hut in Norway and the Cloudy Bay winery in New Zealand.
Its effortless harmony with various interior styles the world over continues to cement its place as the most iconic of all fireplaces. Over the past 45 years, GyroFocus has amassed an impressive collection of prizes, medals and other distinctions not the least of which being the World’s Most Beautiful Object collected at the Pulchra Design Award (Italy) in 2009.
A true alien when it first landed lifting fire into the air, Gyrofocus is now in its fifth decade of continuous production. Despite changes in fashion and taste it remains as iconic today as it was in 1968.
Dominique Imbert worked as a kitchen hand in London, an explorer in Alaska and a Doctor of Sociology at La Sorbonne in Paris before discovering his calling as a design practitioner, although was never big on titles.
“Am I a designer?” he use to ask. “I haven’t been to art school, I haven’t studied architecture, I’ve never taken a single drawing lesson, I haven’t studied painting, sculpture, fine arts or art history. I haven’t done any of these things.”
Despite his reservations and innate humbleness, Imbert’s contribution to the design world has been phenomenal. When he launched Focus in the 1960s, he could not have dreamed that his firm would win the French National Prize for Creation or his work would be exhibited in contemporary art museums.
His quest for a wood heater that provided aesthetic pleasure as well as efficient warmth has resulted in a revolution in fireplace design that continues to make waves.