A contemporary Ligurian villa showcases Flexform’s new indoor/outdoor collections
With Flexform intent on bringing a fresh momentum to the indoor-outdoor aesthetic, the Meda-based furniture company has travelled to a special location, Villa N in the Gulf of Imperia, north-west Italy.
Inspired by the dramatic coastal location, Giordano Hadamik Architects and Studio GHA4U designed the house to create an effect of continuity between inside and outside, making it the perfect showcase for Flexform’s 2020 collections.
By blurring the lines between interior and exterior living, Flexform’s collaboration with Villa N shows how opening up our homes can make us feel more human, elementally connected and alive. The earth is a source of energy and strength; to stretch out on it, or to relax under its vast skies, encourages in us a sense of repose and contemplation, engenders conversation and reflection. The intelligent combination of Villa N’s adaptive architecture and Flexform’s elegant, weather-bearing furniture creates environments that are vital, socially versatile, and more Zen.
Studio GHA4U’s concept for this family home is marked by its unobtrusive integration into the terraced Ligurian landscape. The house was designed and built in compliance with strict guidelines for eco-sustainability, its partially subterranean envelope extremely well-insulated. Carefully monitored control of passive solar gain along with optimised use of renewable energy significantly reduces power consumption while enhancing living comfort, bringing the building’s performance to Passivhaus Trust-approved levels.
Combining bold personalities and utmost comfort, new seating systems are Flexform’s star players in domestic spaces, collectively envisioned as a true ecosystem of elements. Sofas and armchairs combine with coffee tables, ottomans, tables and chairs. Each piece is connected, creating a seamless flow of styles between interior and exterior settings.
Formed by two partially underground single-story spaces clad in natural stone, Villa N’s façade features large windows that open on to the ocean. The living area is dedicated to conversation and socialising, while the bedrooms are designed for intimacy and tranquility. A corner arrangement of Flexform’s ‘Asolo’ seating system, a pair of ‘Tessa’ armchairs and ‘Pico’ and ‘Fly’ coffee/side tables comfortably furnish the area adjacent to the wood-panelled fireplace.
The open-plan kitchen has an informal, laid-back atmosphere. Conceived as as a calm space for preparing and enjoying meals, its island is furnished with Flexform’s ‘First Steps’ barstools, while the ‘Pico’ dining table is surrounded by comfortably upholstered ‘Joyce’ dining chairs. In the intimate, cosy bedroom, a ‘Gregory’ bed is paired with a ‘Piuma’ bedside table and a ‘Guscio’ armchair.
Studio GHA4U’s design maximises the natural habitat, incorporating the beauty of the Mediterranean scrub that surrounds the home. The exteriors take advantage of the presence of three key elements: a massive oak tree, an infinity pool and an outdoor fireplace. Four daybeds from Flexform’s ‘Atlante’ collection are placed poolside to offer stunning views of the gulf.
In a shaded area of the patio, a corner arrangement of the ‘Atlante’ sofa, paired with ‘Any Day’ and ‘Pico’ coffee/side tables provide an open invitation to total relaxation. Outdoor dining, when the weather allows, is a pleasure when seated around the ‘Fly’ table in ‘First Steps’ chairs.
With Villa N’s clever features and Flexform’s furniture collections facilitating year-round, indoor and outdoor living, each season can be fully enjoyed and experienced as it passes. The house’s occupiers are able embrace light and shade, the changing elements, and give themselves over to both the transformative influences of the earth and the warm, cocooning joys of home.
The Antonio Citterio-designed Asolo sofa has outstanding comfort in its DNA. Its generous yet well-balanced proportions, couture upholstery tailoring and attention to the smallest construction details are all unmistakable signs of Flexform style, imbued with informal elegance.
Every constructive element of Antonio Citterio’s ‘Tessa’ armchair is a clue to the complexity that lies behind its apparent simplicity. Exploring the ingenuity, traditional joinery and hand craftsmanship inherent to the Flexform brand, the structure is made entirely of solid ash or turned Canaletto walnut. Acknowledging a rural Italian tradition, the delicate yet strong woven paper rush cord in the seat and backrest is finely handcrafted.
The elegantly tapered legs of the ‘Pico’ tables lend it fluid dynamism and visual lightness. Made of cast aluminum, the legs come in a number of finishes, while the no-sharp-edges top can be made from various types of marble, or wood veneered with Canaletto walnut or ash in various finishes. The ‘Pico’ dining table and coffee tables come in an array of sizes and offer great versatility and a high degree of personalisation, thanks to the countless combinations of structure and top finishes that can be achieved.
‘First Steps’ barstool
‘I am not on a quest for the extraordinary,’ says designer Christophe Pillet. ‘But rather for that which is beautiful and able to kindle emotion in the ordinary.’ This impassioned exploration of the essence of things is also fully developed in the lyric simplicity of the ‘First Steps’ barstool. The sinuous structure that rises to form the metal backrest has a painted white or burnished finish, while the tightly woven seat material is entirely handmade in either paper cord or paper rush cord.
Allusions to tradition in the ‘Joyce’ armchair and chair are clear. Its lines achieve the perfect balance between design and classicism. Distinctive to the ‘Joyce’ is its metal structure that not only supports the shell but becomes an intriguing aesthetic motif that lends personality to the back of the chair. The enveloping contours of the shell are crafted in metal and moulded polyurethane, while the metal base comes in two elegant finishes, burnished or powder-coated white.
The ‘Gregory’ bed rests on a metal frame and cast aluminum feet crafted in a number of elegant finishes that offer a subtle contrast to the cowhide strips available in tobacco, dark brown or black. The generously padded headboard is designed to ensure consistently comfortable support. The entirely removable headboard upholstery can be tailored in fabric or leather and is highlighted by elegant tone-on-tone or contrasting colour grosgrain piping.
‘Atlante’ seating system
Italian for ‘Atlas’, the mythical Titan who bears the world on his shoulders, ‘Atlante’ is an outdoor furnishing system that marries thoughtful aesthetic experimentation and extraordinary versatility in terms of personalisation. Made up of stand-alone and sectional sofas as well as daybeds, the ‘Atlante’ family is designed in a generous contemporary style, upholstered cushions offsetting the austerity of the metal structure, while the elegant grosgrain piping outlines its soft, welcoming form.
‘Fly Outdoor’ tables
An extensive family of extremely versatile, practical tables, coffee tables, side tables and cabinets, ‘Fly’s aesthetic is an expression of the kind of ‘good design’ upon which the entire Flexform collection is built. The metal base comes in chrome, burnished, black chrome or champagne finish, while the top – available in round, oval, square and rectangular shapes, in a number of sizes – comes in Canaletto walnut or ash, stained in a number of shades, or in various types of marble.
‘First Steps Outdoor’ chair
The lyric simplicity of the ‘First Steps Outdoor’ chair seems to trace back to the archetypal object-chair. The sinuous structure that rises to form the metal backrest has a painted white or burnished finish, while the tightly woven seat material is entirely handmade in woven matt polypropylene cord in natural, ice, straw or anthracite colour.
Alison Outdoor Two-Seater
Two-seater and three-seater sofas now join an armchair in the ‘Alison Outdoor’ collection. The sofa’s curved, extruded aluminum structure comes in an epoxy powder-coated finish in white, khaki green or wine red, as well as in a burnished or satin aluminum finish. The backrest is in polyurethane rubber, in a colour palette that ranges from earth tones to bordeaux and olive green, while the seat and backrest cushions can be upholstered in any of the fabrics from the outdoor textile collection. Thanks to their light weight, the ‘Alison Outdoor’ sofas are easy to move around.
‘Carlotta Outdoor’ armchair and ottoman
Designed by Antonio Citterio in 1997, the ‘Carlotta’ small armchair, which can be paired with its namesake footstool, has become one of the most emblematic examples of the Flexform style. It’s now reinterpreted in an outdoor version, where the cool simplicity of the sleek stainless-steel base meets the sophisticated elegance of the woven upholstery. Both the epoxy, powder-coated finish of the base and the woven polypropylene fibre upholstery are available in a number of shades.
‘Tessa Outdoor’ ottoman
Like the armchair it accompanies, the ‘Tessa Outdoor’ ottoman features a frame of solid turned iroko wood. The traditional joinery requires expert craftsmanship and gently exalts the natural texture and feel of the wood. Hand-woven polypropylene cord completes both pieces, available in a sophisticated palette of colours. The ‘Tessa Outdoor’ family also includes a bench and a coffee table, with tabletop choices of Beola Argentata, pietra del Cardoso, lava stone and porphyry.