CASSINA, WHERE THE IDEAS OF THE GREAT MASTERS BECOME DESIGN WORKS
Cassina is one of the earliest companies on the Italian scene in the furniture sector and is a company that has made research, quality and strictness into its stylistic code, becoming synonymous with care for beauty. It is a success story that since the second half of the 1900s rewrites the canons of the approach to design, thanks also to the encounter with the great artists of design, first of all Gio Ponti. From that moment, the intuition of a real philological work of understanding of the Great Masters of Designers and rediscovery of the roots of contemporary furniture, of the precursors, of the archetypes, of the forerunners of a new way of designing furniture objects, with the aim of re-editing a new manifesto of modern living.
Thus was born in 1965, with the first acquisitions of reproduction rights, the I Maestri collection in which the most iconic artistic works of the protagonists of the Modern Movement are collected and selected, essential reference points of modern design. The philosophy that is the inspiration is the recovery of the archetypal and interpretative codes that are the basis of the development of contemporary design and architecture. The creations of the past are indeed updated but without ever losing anything of the original spirit and the messages launched by the Great Masters.
It is a collection that tends towards the absolute, in expression and values. It goes beyond space and time by combining the past, present and future of living.
From Le Corbusier, the first inspirer of the collection, to Pierre Janneret and Charlotte Perriand, to Frank Lloyd Wright, Franco Albini and many others, the I Maestri collection is, among other things, a pleasure for the eyes and a continuous stimulus, even intellectual . Like the proposals by Marco Zanuso with the Lady armchair and sofa opens to the level of stylistic and material innovation, while Luisa by Franco Albini is substance in form and poetics of the archetype. All to be studied well.
The Lady armchair and sofa by Marco Zanuso, the iconic style that passes through a century in black and white
The Lady armchair, designed in 1951 by Marco Zanuso, immediately established itself as an icon of Italian design of the 1950s, revealing itself to be an authentic masterpiece of Made in Italy capable of winning, in 1951, the Gold Medal at the IX Triennale from Milan. The re-edition by Cassina in 2015, while enhancing the aesthetics according to a more contemporary taste, preserves and enhances the fundamental intuitions of the original idea of Lady or the extraordinary modernity in the construction which represented an absolute novelty on a stylistic, material and technological level.
From a structural point of view, the armchair has an innovative bouncing system obtained with reinforced elastic belts to achieve the highest level of comfort while also relying on armrests made of poplar plywood. The thin metal legs are so slender as to enhance the lightness of the shapes, while the feet are in black plastic. Lady was the first armchair to be padded with polyurethane foam and foam rubber and all the elements that make up its structure harmoniously agree to make it a real masterpiece.
Cassina preserves all this and does even more by offering the possibility of choosing the precious selection of fabrics designed by Raf Simons in the coverings to further enrich the value of this timeless product.
But Lady does not end there. This armchair, designed by Zanusi, is combined by the proposal for a two-seater sofa that Cassina decided to re-edit in 2016. The Lady sofa has the same characteristics as the armchair: both the seat, the backrests and the sides are made of a separate way to capture and adapt to all the characteristics of the body, ensuring maximum comfort.
The designer touch of the Lady sofa is the wide choice of fabrics available for the upholstery that give even more character to this product. One above all: the iconic black and white checkered pattern, imaginary and symbol of an era.
832 Luisa by Franco Albini, the art of wood and the substance in form
Franco Albini carried out a long and complex research and experimental work, before arriving at the definitive scheme as the Luisa armchair, the ideal model, the archetype that has substantiated in itself the fundamental and essential elements of the chair and for this in 1955 he won the Compasso d'Oro ADI award. From these premises, Luisa expresses the poetics of substance in form that manages to create a code of both representation and use that, for over half a century, has harmlessly resisted the changing concepts of living.
Structurally, wood plays an important and fundamental role: it is in fact possible to create the supporting structure of Luisa in three different wood variants ranging from natural or black stained ash to Canaletto walnut. Here too, as in Lady, there are elastic belts inside the seat and back profile, while the padding is made of cold-foamed polyurethane and covered with fabric or leather. The geometric planes that are created remain suspended and supported by a thin wooden structure with trestle sides, recurrent in Albini's works.
And Cassina makes this lightness its own, reinterpreting it thanks to the extraordinary woodworking ability of the craftsmen, demonstrating that Luisa is truly a timeless object. It is substance in form. And for this, eternal and archetypal.