In the 1970s, Brian and Rosie McGuigan left the troubles of their native Ireland for Denmark, where they learned the best of Danish modernist design and craftsmanship. They came home in 1979 to begin a firm of their own, Orior, and a family, including son Ciarán and daughter Katie.
Today, Ciarán is the creative director of Orior, and the Newry-based studio has just opened a global flagship on Manhattan’s bustling corner between Mercer and Grand. Its airy, light-filled 4,500-square-feet is chockablock with the pieces which, over the years, have secured a place for Orior in the global design fanbase: 1984’s Atlanta sofa, for example, which caps plush, jewel-tone velvet seats between stepped arms, all upon a platform finished in kicky tassels; or the Wavy credenza, with its rippling curves of stainless steel and bullnose feet in Irish Green marble.
Along with a preference for clean-lined wit, that stone has become a house signature and takes pride of place as custom floor tiles lining the flagship’s entryway. Oak found not far from where that marble is mined forms custom millwork throughout. It also lines a quartet of arches delineating the showroom from a surrounding lounge and zones devoted to credenzas and dining furniture. “The bold shapes and rich materials consistent throughout our work have influenced the space and underscore our dedication to uplifting design and superior craftsmanship,” said Ciarán in an announcement of the new showroom.
All is illuminated via the natural light entering through the revolving doors, warmed by their oak edges, and multiplied by doubled, mirrored facades. This is supplemented by additional lighting by Vancouver’s Bocci Studio, and an ample skylight.
“This showroom gives us the opportunity to communicate our vision through a unique space that embodies everything about our brand, which is firmly rooted in co-creation,” Ciarán said. To that end, a place at the table has been laid for the US market debut of Kate’s textiles, womenswear, homeware, wallpaper, and rugs. “It’s not just about one person’s perspective or ideas. All of our imaginations blended together created an engaging environment that leaves plenty of room to inspire and spark thoughtful conversation.”
And while the showroom honors the family’s design legacy, it makes room for the future: Ciarán’s new Objects series scales down familiar tubes and curves into a half-dozen smaller items—holders for magazines or candles, bookends, a bowl, a vase, and a tabletop sculpture—made from off-cuts of the stones and marbles used for the big-time furnishings, like the credenza and tables filling out the new Spring 2022 collection. “Our new flagship is indicative of a major step forward for Orior,” said Ciarán, “honoring over forty years of Irish design heritage while shepherding the brand into a new era.”