Peugeot Design Lab is a global brand design laboratory created by Peugeot, but it works principally for clients outside the automotive sector. With piano manufacturer Pleyel, in 2011 the laboratory began working on the design of a new pianoforte concept.
The result is visually very striking, and it also incorporates some important new departures as regards sound quality and performance. Pleyel pianos are famous for their touch and sound, and the new product had to maintain and enhance these characteristics. A new feature is the fact that the mechanism has been lowered, so that the keyboard is flush with the top of the piano. This in turn ensures that the audience can see the performer from any angle, including his hands. The pianist hears the sound of the instrument more clearly, and this improves and facilitates performance.
The piano lid no longer has a support. It opens with an assisted mechanism similar to that of a station wagon hatch. The pedals are fitted on a dramatic cantilevered support that forms part of the single diagonal column on which the entire instrument rests. The structure of the instrument is in wood and carbon fibre, chosen for optimum strength and acoustics.
Visually, the piano recalls sports cars and speedboats, contemporary and streamlined.
Without doubt, this is a unique and revolutionary instrument, built by Pleyel, a company founded in 1807 and based at Saint Denis, near Paris. Price: about €165,000.