STYLE ON THE SOFA
Three international super-brands, three new sofas. We take a seat with the big names behind the designs
JEAN MARIE MASSAUD ‘ SYDNEY‘ SOFA FOR POLIFORM
Toulouse-born and now based in Paris, Massaud has a global outlook that he describes as ‘evolving avant-garde’. New to the prolific MassaudPoliform partnership, which has produced 40 pieces to date, is the ‘Sydney’ sofa – one of many pieces named after vibrant cities that inspire the architect-designer. ‘Poliform is not a conservative brand, but its furniture is classic in proportions and materials. The family behind the company and I get on well and, together, we are modernising a little. We designed this sofa for the contemporary, informal way that people live now. It’s aimed at the younger customer who stays in a five-star hotel, but doesn’t want formal furniture. It should not be part of a three-piece suite! It is low and perfect for reclining. Plus, as it can be configured to fit small or spacious apartments, it can move around with the owner.’ THE FACTS Wooden frame, metal base, available in 31 standard fabric coverings, as well as velvet and leather on request. Matching cushions available. From £12,000 (poliform.it).
ANTONIO CITTERIO ‘ GRAND SOFÀ’ FOR VITRA
Renowned Italian architect and designer Citterio is a formidable name in furniture design. Big brands from Hermès to Iittala vie to commission his signature designs, and Swiss manufacturer Vitra has joined forces with him to create the state-of-the-art settee that is the ‘Grand Sofà’. ‘There are many big squashy sofas around, but Vitra is respected for its industrial design and clean lines. Working together, we wanted to blend the two,’ says Citterio. ‘There’s a special relationship between designer and manufacturer. Collaboratively, we worked out how to transform a flat drawing into a three-dimensional product, particularly the jigsaw puzzle of fabric panels and seams. It started with a pencil sketch. I don’t design digitally, as computer renders look so sterile. This piece was inspired by a one-off pair of sofas I designed for my apartment in Milan. In a modern home, seating isn’t always up against the wall, which is why the back of this design doubles as a miniature desk or drinks tray. A sofa doesn’t exist in a vacuum! It has to work in the space it’s in.’ THE FACTS Can be upholstered in a choice of three fabrics, in 17 colours. Frame can be polished, or powder-coated black or white. From £5,090 (vitra.com).
PIERO LISSONI ‘ SAKÉ’ SOFA FOR B& B ITALIA
Prolific architect-designer Lissoni has created everything from yachts to travertine surfaces and coffee tables. Remarkably, given that he and B&B Italia are both Italian design A-listers, the ‘Saké’ marks their first collaboration. ‘B&B Italia gave me a pretty blank canvas – they just said, “We need your contemporary touch”. The design came from a search for lightness, so the legs are very fine and invisible from some angles. The sofa seems to float,’ he explains. ‘I think furniture should be simple and serene. With this piece, I stripped away the design to make it as lean as possible.’ THE FACTS Upholstered in a choice of 16 fabrics and four leather colourways. Steel base finished in pewter lacquer paint. Various sizes available, and it can be configured as a chaise longue or sofa bed. From £5,537 ( bebitalia.com).