Driving seat: Poltrona Frau and Ferrari join forces on high-octane chair collaboration

The ‘Cockpit President’ (with higher back) and ‘Cockpit Executive’ chairs
The ‘Cockpit President’ (with higher back) and ‘Cockpit Executive’ chairs by Ferrari and Poltrona Frau, at Ferrari’s Studio Fuksas-designed product development centre in Marenello.
(Image credit: Martina Giammaria)

Heads up agile workers: the ‘Cockpit’ is a racing chair for the office, the Ferrari of swivel seats. Indeed, commissioned to mark the car maker’s 70th anniversary, and manufactured by Poltrona Frau, it is designed by Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari’s design director and creator of recent models such as the GTC4Lusso and the 812 Superfast.

The chair’s silhouette and structure are informed by the ergonomic seats of the marque’s racing cars, while its modular construction offers flexibility and comfort.

Poltrona Frau has collaborated with Ferrari on its vehicle interiors since the mid-1990s and the long-term partnership has allowed the two firms to develop a mutual appreciation and understanding of each other’s aesthetic values. ‘Our companies share the same care and attention to details, the same constant research for excellence, the same love for craftsmanship and the same sense of balanced elegance,’ explains Nicola Coropulis, Poltrona Frau’s brand director.

The chair features a carbon-fibre shell and a leather seat, while its swivel movement was developed using the same design and mechanics as a Ferrari steering wheel.

Two versions are available: the President is a managerial model with a high back, while the Executive can be adapted to any working context. The models are available in sleek black or classic Ferrari red, and there are also options in brown and tan leather, which were chosen by Manzoni’s team from the material samples offered in the car company’s ‘Tailor-Made’ programme.

‘The biggest lesson we have learned in working with Ferrari is that even the tiniest detail must have meaning and function in relation to the whole project. Nothing is there just to embellish,’ says Coropulis. ‘True beauty is in the essence of things and in the way they are assembled.’

As originally featured in the July 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*220)


’Cockpit President’ chair, from £10,800; ’Cockpit Executive’ chair, from £8,400, both by Ferrari and Poltrona Frau, For more information, visit the website

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.