Visiting Vietnam: the origin of our Coral Bank collection of outdoor furniture

Coral Bank is one of Beltempo’s most popular outdoor furniture lines. But did you know that it took over 10 years to arrive in our showroom? Here’s the story of how Coral Bank began as a moment of inspiration in Vietnam, almost fifteen years ago.

3-seater outdoor sofa from the Coral Bank collection

To understand Coral Bank, you have to understand the design process that every piece of Beltempo Outdoor furniture goes through. It starts with our designer and Chief Art Director and Italian born, Marco Sangiorgi.

Designer Marco Sangiorgi, who kindly shared these photographs with us

Marco begins a new furniture line by creating a prototype. He takes inspiration from different places around the world. When it comes to photography he doesn’t go in search of the perfect home; he looks for locations that have a certain feeling, a unique atmosphere and image that represent the new design. He found the unique atmosphere of Coral Bank in Vietnam.

Marco was travelling in the area with American photographer Justin Mott. It was his second trip to Vietnam. His studies in Paris had taught him the sad but inspiring history of the Indochina French Colony and the Vietnamese revolution.

During those dark years in Vietnam, many women had learned new skills which were previously dominated by men. They took over crafts like woodwork and fishing. Now, decades later, they have never forgotten those skills and never lost their strength of spirit.

Men and women at work with fishing nets

Marco Sangiorgi soaked up the atmosphere in Vietnam; traditional art and crafts, local materials, the bold spirit of the women who work there, and the whole experience of living and working beside the sea. It was the perfect spot to portrait the Coral Bank line of outdoor furniture.

In fact, Marco returned home with new ideas that will show up in many new pieces of furniture still to be seen in future Beltrempo production.

Catch of the day: a typical scene on the “fisherman’s coast” south of Saigo

Coral Bank outdoor furniture for that Asian project stayed rooted in Vietnam. Beltempo knowhow was passed to a Danish Company and the furniture was produced on site for the Boutique hotel client. We start by sourcing the teak wood from sustainable reforested plantations in Guanacaste (Central America). The wood was cut, fitted into frames, and then left outside to tan so as to start developing its special patina.

Coral Bank furniture frames left out to tan

We’re lucky to work with a skilled group of Vietnamese women, who use traditional skills and modern technology to craft each piece of Coral Bank furniture.

Vietnamese worker operating a saw

They also cut, sew, and finish the soft furnishings that make Coral Bank outdoor furniture so comfortable to use.

At work in the sewing room

The entrepreneurial spirit and respect for traditional crafts reminds us that the United States and Vietnam have more in common than we might think. When we celebrate Independence Day this year, we’ll also be thinking of our partners in Vietnam – and how they, too, struggled through difficult times to reach independence and prosperity.

Beltempo Outdoor will be closed on the 4th of July to celebrate Independence Day. Come and visit our showroom at DCOTA in Dania Beach after the holiday to see the full range of Coral Bank outdoor furniture.