Metal rods, curved beech, severe frameworks, tubing and mechanisms to transform sofas into beds. The structure of upholstered furniture stands out in a forceful way, exploring new aesthetic territories and making different sensations – of rigidity in the structure and softness in the padding – coexist in a single product.
The Janet bergère and armchair by Umberto Asnago for Giorgetti provide a clear example, in a contrast between the solidity of the outer shell and the softness of the seat and back. Available in a smooth version, or with a precious game of stitching in oblong hexagons, the armchair seems to float over its base, which combines metal and canaletto walnut, with a metal section separating the wooden legs.
The RITO armchair is another example. Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez, who have worked with Désirée for some time now, create a ‘timeless’ seat that combines the essential lightness of the structure in metal rod with the softness of the upholstery. A solid protagonist of any space when observed frontally, the model looks slim and tapered when seen from the side. Designed for all situations, it stands out for the lack of armrests, making it suitable also for smaller living spaces.
The Ayton sofa from Borzalino by the studio Debonademeo generates contrasting sensations: the rigorous lines of the support are countered by the soft curves of the upholstery, while the smooth surfaces match soft fabrics and the finest leather with elegant yarns. The severity of the frame, inspired by Nordic geometric styling of the 1950s, is tempered by the informal comfort of the seat and back, with their contemporary tone. Like a flying carpet, the structure rises from the ground in a horizontal plane, like a shell containing the soft, welcoming core. Ayton is composed of various types of seats and surfaces, for infinite combinations.
Porada is a brand that has transformed the structural silhouette into a primary factor in its collections, made to be seen and touched. One distinctive characteristic of the company is its craftsmanship and ability to shape canaletta walnut into furnishings of extreme elegance. The Argo sofa is an excellent example: David Dolcini has designed a modular seating system with a base in solid canaletta walnut (terminating in brushed brass tips) that supports a large, softly padded seat. The final result, however, is one of extreme lightness.
The indoor version of the highly acclaimed Open Air collection by Meridiani (read the dedicated feature) follows the guidelines developed by the designer Andrea Parisio for the original models, created for outdoor use, in soft volumes combined with minimal lines, which in the Cloud Open Air models take on rigorous geometric connotations. Here the accent is on the structural parts that form an armchair and a cot in solid iroko wood, offered in a new finish for indoor use.
Opera Contemporary has also chosen to give the Cosmo sofa (designed by Castello Lagravinese) an elegant structural perimeter, in solid wood for the recent restyling. A triangular border embraces and supports the entire sofa. The structural band thus becomes not only a simple functional element, but also an aesthetic feature of great refinement, and a concrete example of the brand’s expertise in the crafting of wood.
Luca De Bona and Dario De Meo return to their concept of synesthesia with the Swing collection by Adrenalina, which mixes historical reminiscence and innovative design. The sofas and armchairs have a structure in metal tubing on which to attach the fabric seat, capable of warming the coolness of the metal. A rigorous design of great composure that leaves room for sensations of freedom, comfort and wellbeing.
In the case of Wiener GTV Design, the duo GamFratesi has set out to enhance the structure of the Targa Modular Sofa thanks to combinations of materials. The modular component system has a structure in curved beech that supports the ample seat cushion and the padded back, which terminates in a border made with Vienna straw, in which to insert an ellipsoidal element – the ‘targa’ (plaque) – that gives the project its name.
With Yaki the designers Gabriele and Oscar Buratti have created a sofa-bed for Lema, available in three sizes. In this case the structure contains a particular mechanism that makes it possible to open the unit for use as a bed without removing cumbersome cushions. The double bed has wooden stave support and a very comfortable mattress.