Cassina’s first line of outdoor furniture has a midcentury edge

At IMM Cologne (13-19 January), Italian stalwarts Cassina will be revealing its first ever outdoor collection that blends reimagined design icons with a set of contemporary al fresco pieces

Left: outdoor garden with table and chairs. RIght: The back of an outdoor chair.
Left, LC Collection Outdoor by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, Photography: DePasquale+Maffini. Right, Doron Hotel armchair, by Charlotte Perriand
(Image credit: DePasquale+Maffini)

Last year, Italian brand Cassina broadened its horizons. With Patricia Urquiola spearheading as art director, it launched The Cassina Perspective – a visual path of its creativity that celebrates reborn classics and contemporary design. For 2020, Cassina are shifting this lens outdoor with a collection of pieces designed by Rodolfo Dordoni, Philippe Starck and Urquiola, plus of course, some refreshed midcentury icons.

‘Today the outdoors is considered an important part of our lives,’ says Luca Fuso, CEO of Cassina. The Cassina Perspective Goes Outdoor range takes inspiration from plenty of al fresco joy – for Starck, it was nature. For the French designer’s seating and coffee table, he employed hand craft to create a tactile and warm aura. Meanwhile, the charm of 1950s holiday resorts are the source of inspiration for Dordoni, who creates an urban range titled Sail Out, which includes modular seating and dining arrangements, that could easily style a city outdoor environment.

My childhood years were spent with my classmates amongst nature

Le Corbusier

Urquiola’s design travels further north – ‘During a trip to Greenland I noted these little trampolines outside the locals’ houses. This playful object inspired me to design Trampoline.’ Described as a love bed, the curvaceous structure invites guests with soft upholstery and rope detailing.

Outdoor lounging scene

(Image credit: DePasquale+Maffini)

Black chair in the outdoor area

Above, Patricia Urquiola’s Trampoline love bed with Bowy outdoor low table. Below, Outdoor LC collection by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand

(Image credit: DePasquale+Maffini)

Combining these new products with midcentury marvels was a natural decision for the Cassina team, ‘our values are based on avant-gardism, authenticity, excellence and the combination of technological capacity with skilled hand craftsmanship... whether a new product or classic reedition,’ Fuso says. Charlotte Perriand’s 1947 The Doron Hotel armchair, a design in teak that echoes her adoration for the mountains and winter voyages, has been given an outdoor hydro oil finish. Meanwhile, the versatile LC Collection, realised by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Perriand as simple and functional forms, has been relaunched in outdoor-friendly iterations too.

Cassina works with Le Corbusier Foundation to reconstruct natural details for these designs, while engaging with the three pioneers’ passion for the outdoors – Le Corbusier cities in The Decorative Art of Today, 1st ed. Paris, G. Crès, coll. ‘The New Spirit,’ 1925, Paris, Flammarion, 1996, p.198 – ‘My childhood years were spent with my classmates amongst nature […] I knew flowers inside out, the shapes and colours of birds, how a tree grows, and it balances even in the eye of a storm. The tree, a man’s friend, a symbol of all organic creation; the tree, the image of a complete construction.’

A three seat sofa with beige cushions and wooden arms rests at either end.

Fenc E Nature sofa by Philippe Starck for Cassina

(Image credit: TBC)

Rectangular table with two legs and a wooden bench.

Dine Out by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cassina

(Image credit: TBC)


Sujata Burman is a writer and editor based in London, specialising in design and culture. She was Digital Design Editor at Wallpaper* before moving to her current role of Head of Content at London Design Festival and London Design Biennale where she is expanding the content offering of the showcases. Over the past decade, Sujata has written for global design and culture publications, and has been a speaker, moderator and judge for institutions and brands including RIBA, D&AD, Design Museum and Design Miami/. In 2019, she co-authored her first book, An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, which was driven by her aim to make the fields of design and architecture accessible to wider audiences.