Armchairs for lounging beautifully
Take your seats for our showdown of commendable chairs: from contemporary armchairs to iconic lounge seats
Armchairs are an important feature of everyday life. There are wide ranges to choose from, but it can be difficult to find one that leaves you fully satisfied on all fronts. From Molteni & C’s remodelling of a classic to Meridiana’s options for comfort and aesthetics, we’ve gathered together armchairs that have revolutionised how comfortably we sit, and complement the living space. Design and style are as important as comfort and luxury, and each armchair in our selection has been finished with well considered upholstery, utilising traditional methods.
Armchairs and lounge chairs by contemporary designers and design masters
Gio Ponti’s iconic armchair design which was officially presented at the 11th Milan Triennale in 1957, is faithfully reproduced by Molteni & C in collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives. The forgotten masterpiece is brought to life using avantgarde materials and technologies, such as the Vipla (a plastic material that resembles leather) for the upholstery, curved plywood to join the backrest and seat, and metal feet with non-slip tips that are easy to assemble. For a contemporary touch, the ‘Round D.154.5’ chair can be covered with all textiles and leathers of the Molteni & C collection. Ponti, who often used the chair to furnish his architectural projects, marked a turning point in design after the Second World War, towards a highly innovative style linked to functional and essential shapes, and making the most of innovative materials.
The Hommage à Pierre Jeanneret Collection plays with Cassina’s fascination with the city of Chandigarh, and balances modern European ideals and traditional Indian spirit. Designed by Pierre Jeanneret, the ‘Kangaroo’ low chair was originally made for Chandigarh’s General Hospital Hall. The chair is characterised by the ‘Z’ shape of its sides, and is offered in two variants – in natural oak and stained black oak. The seat and backrest feature three vaguely triangular coplanar elements placed in continuity. The wood frame, the wicker seat and backrest are characteristic of the Indian tradition, as is the use of teak, which distinguishes the legendary model now revisited by Cassina.
With a focus on catering for different needs, the ‘Teresina’ armchair designed by Andrea Parisio for Meridiani is structured for two versions, ‘soft’ and ‘kuoio’. Both comfort and aesthetics differ in the available versions. The ‘soft’ version, with a padded back and seat covered with the textiles and leathers in the collection, prioritises relaxation. The ‘kuoio’ takes on a more rigorous look with a saddle-leather body that defines the back, armrests and seat. A leather storage bag, for a book or magazine, for example, is available as an accessory, to be attached to the chair’s arm.
The ‘Fynn’ chair’s handmade armrests – elongated and slightly curved, rounded and smooth to the touch – express the high level of design and finishing that have always been Minotti’s distinguishing mark. The project combines cabinet-making techniques in its crafted wooden elements with sophisticated upholstery in fabric or saddle-hide. Available in two sizes, the armchairs feature an ultra-lightweight aesthetic with a simple structure in ash wood, finished with a stained liquorice colour. The comfortable seating almost cradles the body.
Designer Christophe Pillet’s vision of a rustic yet delicate chair has been constructed using a bold material contrast. The sleek metal structure supports a fine woven paper or paper rush cord seat and backrest. The crafting is performed entirely by hand, referencing traditional Mediterranean and Scandinavian methods. The timeless chair is available in various colours and an optional cushion can be added to ensure the utmost comfort.
Hans J Wegner’s ‘CH07 Shell’ chair was created in 1963 and is considered one of the Danish designer’s most groundbreaking pieces. On its launch, it was loved by critics but left the public reluctant to embrace the avant-garde look of its forms, so the chair was produced in very limited quantities until it was resurrected by Carl Hansen & Søn in 1998. Featuring a winged seat and curved backrest held by a frame with three arched legs, the chair is made of upholstered, form-pressed veneer. Not only a comfortable design, it also looks great from every angle (answering to Wegner’s belief that a chair have no back side).
Notable for the sharp diagonal slope from the edge of the front seat, the ‘Hunting’ chair is one of Børge Mogensen’s striking designs. Inspired by Spain’s medieval Andalusian furniture, Mogensen (1914 – 1972) was an advocate of visual tranquillity, simple lines, strong construction and natural materials. These noticeable elements bring an extra dimension of beauty and longevity to his designs, and support his belief that good furniture should be enjoyed now and for generations to come. Mogensen first rose to recognition with his presentation of the ‘Hunting’ chair in 1950, his earliest example of furniture with a solid wood framework. The seat and back are combined with saddle leather, which gives the chair its sturdy and resilient quality. A classic among armchairs.
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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