Tristan Auer for Poltrona Frau

Grant, or how to combine the military aplomb of General Ulysses S. and the rather dandified irony of the Hollywood star Cary

Tristan Auer
Tristan Auer

After Les Bains in 2015 and Le Crillon in 2017, both in Paris, 12 hotels are now being built, from Las Vegas to Hong Kong, with design by the studio of Tristan Auer for various luxury chains, including Park Hyatt, Shangri-La, Rosewood, Intercontinental, Carlton, as well as the first Orient Express in Bangkok, and other boutique hotels in Paris.
But during the latest Salone del Mobile, in April in Milan, the designer came to present Grant, a modular system of ottomans, the result of his first collaboration with Poltrona Frau, joining those with Christophe Delcourt, Contardi, Holly Hunt, Ozone, Piéces Uniques, Pouenat, Taillardat, Veronese.

Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau, Salone del Mobile
Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau, Salone del Mobile

“I tend to experiment with all kinds of projects; every day begins with a white sheet of paper, on which I try to reinvent myself. Maybe it is because I have a very bad memory, but I always immediately put aside what I have done before, for better or worse, and start over from scratch. In this way I am more open to the suggestions and requests that arrive from other people, including my staff. I’m very curious, I like to leap from one style to another – I am not married to one style, not its prisoner. My work is always made to measure for a client, whether it is furniture or interiors; they are all always ‘one-of-a-kind’ pieces, but also versatile, ready to be used in different ways, depending on needs and moods.”

Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau
Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau

Grant is certainly a very versatile system, a series of ottomans of different sizes and coverings, always ready to create new configurations.
“Yes, the inspiration came from the world of horses, and the name from the American president Ulysses S. Grant. A good seat is one that encourages good posture, and I imagined riding it with elegance, like another famous Grant, Cary, the Hollywood movie star. Halfway between military efficiency and light, dandified elegance, seeking a balance in these dual references, to be utterly at ease in a private home, a hotel, an office, changing color or the type of covering, more masculine or feminine, with many details you might not notice at first glance. The idea of the woven leather comes from vintage car interiors, another field in which I am both an enthusiast and a designer.”

Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau
Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau

The Grant family contains three elements: a small ottoman measuring 60×40 cm, entirely covered in Pelle Frau®, and two models – A and B – with different finishes, both available in two formats, 110×110 and 140×80 cm, decorated by two belts that vertically wrap the structure, vanishing under the seat. At the base of the belts, steel buckles provide another decorative feature. The factor shared by all the models is the woven workmanship that decorates the perimeter structure of the units when it is covered in Pelle Frau®.

Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau
Grant by Tristan Auer, Poltrona Frau

Type A has a seat cushion available in Pelle Frau® or fabric, while type B has a base covered in Pelle Frau® with the seat built into the structure. The perimeter covering can be in Pelle Frau® or various fabric colors. In the 140×80 cm format a version is available with a kit for armrests, composed of two pairs of added rectangular cushions held in place by the vertical bands. In this case the belting wraps the seat and is equipped with snaps to fasten the armrest cushions.

Get Back, Ludovica e Roberto Palomba
Get Back, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, Salone del Mobile

Besides Grant and several reissues – like the 1919 chair with capitonné work, reworked by the Style & Design Center with Roberto Lazzeroni for the centenary, the Turner swiveling freestanding bookcase from 1963 by Gianfranco Frattini, or Billie and Dizzy, carpets made by starting with two original designs by the Swiss graphic artist Max Huber – at the Salone del Mobile Poltrona Frau also presented other absolutely new developments. The Get Back seating system by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, the Martha armchair by Roberto Lazzeroni, the Coupé bed by GamFratesi, and the Rips vase-sculpture by Carina Seth Andersson.

Martha by Roberto Lazzeroni
Martha by Roberto Lazzeroni