Pleyel and Peugeot Design Lab will unveil tomorrow's piano at the Paris Motor Show
An admirable partnership
Drawing from its experience and inspired by one of its designers who is also a pianist, the Peugeot Design Lab contacted the pianomaker Pleyel in 2011. The idea: create a groundbreaking project in this field.
"This initiative is totally in line with Pleyel's approach over the last ten years," explains Arnaud Marion, Artistic Director for the company, "to its desire to establish itself in design and in the contemporary world. Peugeot and Pleyel are both 200 year old companies and have similar approaches".
Following in the footsteps of their exceptional pianos created hand-in-hand with Andrée Putman and Hilton McConnico, Pleyel accepted to take on the challenge. And so, the Peugeot Design Lab teams immersed themselves in the pianomaker's history and expertise. Their aim: find a common DNA and propose a one-of-a-kind piano that would best express the talents of both parties. A year and a half on, this joint adventure has breathed life into one of the greatest technical and visual revolutions in the history of pianos.
An extraordinary piano
Designers, engineers and acousticians from both companies spent months together researching, studying and testing to finalize this futuristic piano. Primarily to preserve Pleyel's unique sound quality but also to embrace its exceptional feel.
"By embarking on revolutionary piano mechanics and design, we had to ensure Pleyel's quality was kept but also add something groundbreaking," explains Arnaud Marion.
Ergonomically revolutionary, this baby grand piano offers never-heard-before acoustics and overflows with unprecedented characteristics.
A lowered mechanism offering incomparable acoustic and visual qualities
The first piece of groundbreaking ingenuity was to bring down the piano mechanism and align it with the pianist's keyboard. For the first time ever in the history of pianos, the public can see the artiste playing from every conceivable angle. This centre stages the pianist's hands and creates great interaction with the public.
The pianist can hear the sound of the instrument with precision that was until now unknown.
A cantilevered leg
The three traditional piano legs have been replaced by a single cantilevered leg, echoing an exquisitely-elegant suspended bridge. This incredible contrivance, inspired by architectural design, creates an element of surprise by showcasing an apparently-heavy mechanism that levitates on a single leg. This ingeniousness empowers the instrument with sublime visual lightness.
A carbon-fibre structure
The piano body and soundboard are designed in wood, which responds optimally to sound, but the top and leg are made of carbon fibre which is light and offers optimal sound reverberation. The backbone of the instrument is designed in steel, whilst the leg is made from carbon fibre, filled with expandable foam so that any sound box may be eliminated and sound elements may be optimally controlled.
A harmony of technical virtuosity and a new formal language
Although the piano pursues one of the classical codes of the world of pianos with its black lacquer finish, Peugeot Design Lab has totally reinterpreted the instrument by shaking up all the traditional codes. The Lab has invented a formal language that is unique in this sector and has created an experiential object by visually centre staging the piano and allegorizing a reduction in weight through a floating effect. The team then filled the instrument with vivacity inspired by the world of automobiles. Discover its soft, inherent silhouette, which is quite reminiscent of the aerodynamic hull of a sailing boat.