After the plastic and the wood, the famous seat designed by Francesco Meda changes skin one more time
Fratelli Boffi at Salone del Mobile
Classic furnishings but with a pop twist, a sophisticated combination of precious materials, accented with bright surfaces, unexpected colors, daring combinations, soft textures, and nearly century-old cabinetmaking art.
These are the pieces that make up the Blue Lyric Collection, the new collection by Fratelli Boffi, giving life to a mix that echoes a theatrical and timeless glamour.
The company opened its doors to a space that recalls the velvety and Decò atmosphere of the early 1900s. In his first collaboration with the brand, Bruno Tarsia Studio makes his mark on the preparation and styling that defines the container and the spaces that make up the stand.
The exterior consists of a succession of velvet curtains, cleverly combining different nuances, from deep blue to bright blue. The theatrical display is tempered with irony through the use of color and with the addition of oversized cords and tassels. Two windows pull the eye inward, opening the stage on the collection. Here, apparent contrasts give life to an unexpected harmony, thanks to the use of a bright palette with strong colors, attenuated by neutral pearl gray and Trianon gray. The spaces are divided into architectural and decorative elements, such as velvet curtains and arches, giving the environment a sumptuous atmosphere that is also suffused and welcoming at the same time. To complete the space, and further embellish it, regal chandeliers and elegant patterns tease the audience by creating a pendant between the fabrics used in the upholstery and those used in the products.
To introduce the collection, D/Vision .1 and Gothik-A – the trumeau and cupboard by Ferruccio Laviani, protagonists of the last Furniture Fair – are displayed in the two windows to instantly highlight the peculiar style of Fratelli Boffi, combining echoes of the past with aesthetic paradoxes of the present.
Ferruccio Laviani also makes his mark with Muriel, the first new design presented this year. Muriel is a wooden storage unit that incorporates the stylistic elements of Italian furnishings at the end of the '50s, reinterpreting them in an unexpected way and upsetting their symmetries. In fact, Ferruccio Laviani’s cupboard almost seems to be drowning into the wall: the left part keeps its characteristics intact, the choice of patinated oak and the proportions of the original piece of furniture, but as we move to the right, the figure keeps getting thinner until it disappears, almost as if it were sinking. Muriel is composed of an asymmetrical case with doors that are characterized by a precious ribbed molding on the front – a detail that enhances the company's cabinetmaking skills - and by the brass ring handles. Three small legs support the container, completing the shape.
With this project, Ferruccio Laviani confirms his great ability to give voice to the twin souls of the company, classic and ironic at the same time.
Meanwhile, the Gothik-A cupboard by Ferruccio Laviani recreates the rosettes and vaults typical of French cathedrals, transforming them into an oak decoration that ensnares and envelops a transparent glass case, like a spider's web, giving life to an eclectic centerpiece. Gothik-A injects a contemplative atmosphere into its surrounding environment, inviting those who are in its presence to observe it, scrutinizing the neo-gothic vaults that cross one side to the other, separated by the crystalline walls of the container. To support the sideboard, the decoration moves downwards, joining in 4 thin legs that give the project an even lighter, almost suspended appearance.
With the D/Vision collection, Ferruccio Laviani instead performs a work of decomposition, indeed a “di-vision”, on different levels. Starting with the trumeau – a very fashionable piece of furniture in the '50s – Laviani redraws the lines, making it an unexpected and surprising object that still contains glimpses of its original shape.
The collection consists of three versions: D/Vision .0, D/Vision .1, and D/Vision .2. In D/Vision .1, the piece is literally divided in two by an imaginary diagonal line. In this case, the upper part slips symbolically downwards, looking for a point of support, modifying the image of the original design. The bipartition is also reflected in different colors and finishes, contrasting the blue lacquer of the lower part with the walnut frisé used for the upper section, while the oval mirror has been left unaltered.
Entering the stand, we are greeted in the first room by a large living area divided into different sections, some more intimate and others more majestic.
Here we meet the Century sofa, club armchair, and coffee table, a collection by Dainelli Studio in their first collaboration with Fratelli Boffi and second important new design this year.
Century is a collection that draws inspiration from the English tastes of the '50s, to which an extremely modern decorative vocabulary is added, made of precious finishes and inlays. The family consists of a sofa, club armchair, coffee table, and dining table, combining different languages through an unconventional look.
The Century sofa is an object with magnificent proportions, entirely covered in leather or fabric, with two large seat cushions and two back cushions, embellished with a matelassé stitching, supported and held together by the body. The charm and structure of the project comes down to its four tapered feet: the two rear ones covered in fabric, while the front ones have been embellished with a satin brass toecap.
The Century club armchair recalls the style of the collection, with its matelassé stitching and satin-finished brass tips. The design retains the seat cushion from the sofa but, compared to the latter, it synthesizes the elements, eliminating the back cushion and instead giving way to a soft padding present directly on the body.
The small table uses satin-finished brass tips as a starting point, the fil rouge that stylistically links the Century family. The structure and the feet, covered in precious nubuck, support the spectacular inlaid top. In fact, in the background of dark gray stained veneer wood, the designers have actually added a geometric pattern composed of pear wood inlay, in the white and blue colors of Prussia. The chromatic combinations and the impressive dimensions of this object make it perfect for the most charismatic and sumptuous environments.
To complete the collection, Century dining table continues the theme of peculiar tips in satin brass, on which stands the solid oak structure stained in dark gray.
The piece confirms both the refinement of the inlay and the preference for geometric patterns, already revealed in the cocktail table, played this time upon a mahogany base, embellished with an inlaid decoration of diamonds in satin brass, referring once again to the element of the tips.
Fratelli Boffi presents Carla, a lounge armchair inspired by the Fifties, composed of a wooden structure that demonstrates the company's expertise in cabinetmaking. Two cushions, one for the seat and one for the back, add comfort and prestige to this piece.
To support the new Blue Lyric Collection, there are some great company classics, revisited with new colors, finishes, and fabrics, such as the Lui5A lounge chair by Philippe Bestenheider – one of the most recognized icons of Fratelli Boffi – revived this year in a new version in natural Vienna wicker, used for its hexagons, this time framed with opaque black borders, giving the seat an even more geometric and styled look, and proposing a classic chromatic and material combination.
The result is a completely new piece, to mark the continuous evolution of a product that is particularly symbolic of the company. Lui5A takes on a classic piece of furniture - the wooden chair with a typical Vienna wicker seat from the early twentieth century - revisiting it with a futuristic look with the traditional techniques done with fidelity and mastery, but the curved elegant shapes of the original model give way to simplified lines and crystallized shapes that multiply in space. The pentagonal shape thus becomes a unit of measure for the structure and obsessively repeats itself, from the legs to the construction of the panels that make up the seat, back, and armrests.
The small Poseidon table is composed of a base in satin brass, from which three sinuous legs in solid wood dyed black branch out, supporting the Explosion Blu marble top like a trident. The thin profile of the legs gives the project an almost airy lightness, contrasting with the authoritative structure of the top and base.
Heel is a family of coffee tables with ironic character, an object that distorts the classic model with unexpected and irreverent details. Looking at the marble top and the polished mahogany structure, Heel looks like the classic bourgeois coffee table of yesteryear. Looking down, we are surprised to notice that, instead of tips, the feet of the table have shoes, camperos boots and high heels respectively depending on the two versions available. The detachment from the past is also chromatic; the detail, in fact, contrasts the glossy mahogany of the structure with the bright blue lacquer of Prussia.
The small Rose Roundel table by Archer Humphryes Architects consists of a central base in turned wood with sinuous shapes and a round top. Within the Blue Lyric Collection, this classic coffee table is presented in a new revamped version, in solid wood stained dark gray and an Explosion Blue marble top.
Entering, beyond the colonnade, we find the study and dining area, two independent spaces linked by innovative color combinations that bring these two areas with different identities into communication.
The study showcases its protagonist the bookcase Oubliette in majestic grandeur. In a glance, it shows the artisan cabinetmaker Fratelli Boffi and the company's ability to carry out customized projects. Open compartments and doors alternate symmetrically, preserving sophistication and characterizing accessories, such as cigar cases, bottle holders, and cup holders. The surface of the bookcase cabinet, in dark gray oak, delineates sinuous round shapes that define the base and top. Oubliette is a modular piece, custom made by nature, which adapts to multiple styles and sizes, customizing the different domestic environments and projects.
Arcade is immediately striking with its proportions and imposing profile. This solemn desk, designed by Aldo Cibic, consists of two columns covered in leather that act as a base, embellished with a series of details in satin brass. The top is covered in soft leather.
To accompany the desk Arcade, the new office armchair, Ida, is characterized by an impressive back with comfortable padding and upholstered in soft leather. Ida is also proposed in a version with a revolving central base entirely covered in wood, a touch of modernity for a piece of furniture that hails from another time.
The Classicless mirror, designed by ARXX Studio, takes its cue from the desire to create a contemporary piece starting from forms and proportions belonging to the classical language. Through accurate geometric simplification, the classicism of the object is reduced to a modern language, thanks to the use of cutting-edge processing techniques and materials typical of the Fratelli Boffi cabinetmaking tradition, it achieves a perfect symbiosis between the past and future.
To complete the environment, we have the Piera armchairs, the Triclinia dormeuse, the Lucky Star lamps by Fratelli Boffi Studio, and the Kir Royal poufs by Christophe de la Fontaine.
Moving to the dining area, we find the majestic boiserie Blow by the duo Analogia Project. Blow revolutionizes the classic chiseling and shelves of a traditional boiserie with unexpected rounded protrusions. Blow challenges the piece’s three-dimensionality, drawing a series of 'bubbles' in which we find the shelves of an eccentric bookshelf. The whimsical profile and solemn proportions of Blow describe a luxurious and audacious taste, never banal, like the creative spirit that has always defined the company.
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