If you’re the correct vintage to have attended a ‘groovy’ house party in the hills in the late 60s – be it Hollywood or Surrey – you might have stumbled across the look and sounds of the Brionvega Radiofonografo. Launched in 1965, it was designed by the celebrated Italian brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (their other brother, Livio, was also an architect, and their father a famed sculptor).
The Radiofonografo epitomised the growing trend for transforming all-in-one high-fidelity devices into objects that were suitable for the new wave of interior design, without cramping quality or technology.
As its name suggests, the Radiofonografo originally contained a record player and a radio. Comprising of a central unit on a sturdy steel stand, the console has a record deck up top and two square speakers on either side. The anthropomorphized fascia arranges the knobs and buttons in a purist, minimal fashion, with the twin frequency dials acting as arched ‘eyebrows’. Each speaker is drilled with over-sized holes, and they can be detached and stacked to create a compact sonic cube.
The Castiglionis were hugely prolific, working in product design and architecture, creating furniture, watches, consumer goods, and even watches. The Radiofonografo comes from an era when industrial design was gaining its own voice, splicing the colours and forms of fashion and art with the great strides in technological innovation being made at the time. Subtly updated for modern ears, the contemporary Radiofonografo includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections in addition to the Project turntable and AM/FM radio (no DAB sadly).
Each unit is assembled by hand, with milled aluminium buttons, hand-sanded wooden panels, with a choice of white, walnut, and orange to go with the new bold red.
The Brionvega Radiofonografo RR226 fo-st is priced at 9,900.00€. Find out more at Brionvega.it (opens in new tab).
This article is part of The T3 Edit, a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.