B&B Italia, between design and elegance

B&B Italia between contemporary design and timeless elegance

An Italian success story.

This is how the story of B&B Italia, a leading internationaldesigner furniture company, can be told. It is contemporary design because creativity and innovation have always been the starting points of every B&B Italia project; it is timeless elegance because this is a story that has lasted for more than fifty years and has made the name of Italy great, spreading the Made in Italy symbol of beauty, industrial and managerial capacity in the world where technical research is combined with the expressiveness of the product.

The roots of B&B Italia’s success grow on a soil nurtured by creativity, innovation, taste, a constant search for perfection, and above all, encounters, enhancement of experiences and talents. Only by working in this way is it possible to create products that are timeless and that dialogue with the contemporary needs of living, succeeding in satisfying them thanks to a path that, starting from the design to the quality of the materials, makes each B&B Italia product unique and inimitable, a personal and unrepeatable experience.

Like Charles, the sofa designed by Antonio Citterio on inspiration from the great design insights of the 1950s and 1960s, in a tribute to the architect, director and designer Charles Eames, who was in love with details. It is the detail that brings out the quality, striking the eye and staying in the memory by making what you are seeing unique. And Citterio has succeeded very well in his intent: everyone knows why Charles is Charles.

UP5_6 is more than just an armchair, it is a true work of art. It has its own language, communicates a message, and takes a position just as it unravels. After fifty years, UP5_6 is still able to excite and welcome all those who let themselves go into its forms.

Charles, quality rests on detail
 

Details are not details, they make the design (C. Eames)

Charles is the sofa designed in 1997 by Antonio Citterio that has become long and best-selling by B&B Italia and a versatile piece of furniture that performs a valuable function within the home. The strength of this sofa lies in the careful design of the details: the die-cast aluminum feet with the unmistakable shape of an inverted L are now a true trademark. With its slim, raised base that lightens the entire structure, Charles has the appearance of being a light and agile sofa while not affecting its basic solidity.

But the real revolution is in the concept of space that guided its design: Charles is an infinitely modular sofa, thanks to the adaptability of its constituent elements that can always create new scenarios, the result of Citterio’s design. Charles can be configured as a linear sofa, a peninsula, a sofa with lots of chaise-longue or as a corner sofa. Each solution suggests a different placement in the room which, however, is not irreversible: it can change as needs, situations, and moments change. It is also because of these characteristics that Charles has rewritten the laws of contemporary sociability and hospitality through his versatility.

Its seat consists of a single cushion while the other cushions, free and of different sizes, are scattered and lying on the backrest. As for upholstery there are both leather and fabric with a wide choice of chrome and shades ready to enhance the environment without ever being too aggressive.

So all that remains is to be inspired by the different compositional solutions.

Up5_6 the anthropomorphic armchair that has become a real object of desire
 

At that time I was telling a personal story about what my concept of woman is: woman has always been, in spite of herself, a prisoner of herself. So I liked to give this chair a shape of a woman with a ball and chain, which also constitutes the traditional image of the prisoner. (Gaetano Pesce)

In 1969 architect-designer Gaetano Pesce designed a series of chairs known as UP. Among them, rising to more than half a century of fame will be the Up5 combined with the Up6.

Up 5_6 by B&B Italia is the anatomical armchair par excellence: in fact, its structure recalls that of a cozy mother’s womb, a symbol of birth, protection and, at the same time, imprisonment.

An armchair, endowed almost with a life of its own, capable of suggesting induced and reproduced sensations through its enveloping shapes and  powerful anthropomorphic references.

Gaetano Pesce has combined two elements to tell a story: in fact, the armchair is combined with a sphere that serves as a pouf to which it is tied by a thread that resembles an umbilical cord. In this way, UP5_6 was the first industrial design creation to express meaning beyond the object and has become a true cultural icon and
Suffering Majesty
, the undisputed protagonist in Piazza Duomo at Fuorisalone 2019.

UP5_6 is made of cold-flexible polyurethane foam padding and is covered with a stretch fabric available in different colors.

But not only that. B&B Italia also offers a ‘junior’ version, for children ages 3 and up, of this inimitable icon. Reduced in size, it is true to the message of the original in a virtuous circle of growth, thus becoming a very powerful object that can speak to everyone.

 

 

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