BLOG INDEX symbol site 20 MAY 2021

Cassina, modern sense for the time

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Cassina sofa

Cassina and the sense of the modern for the time


In 1927 Le Corbusier had already declared: "The house is a machine for living". The idea was clear, but no one yet knew how to apply it to the architectural project, nor understood how to experience the machine (i.e. the house) in everyday life from a practical point of view. The macchine was therefore the symbol of modern times, but how to furnish it in modern style?

The answer comes from the collaboration of the Swiss architect and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret with Charlotte Perriand. The young designer just had great success at the Paris Autumn Show thanks to her "bar under the roof", an installation made with copper and aluminum furniture and capable of translating the spirit of the machine into a room.

The objects made by these three pioneers of the modern are animated by new aesthetic values ​​and find continuous design challenges in the domestic experience, giving rise to a different sensitivity towards contemporary everyday life.


Avant-garde seating: LC2 and LC3

The LC collection, started creating in 1928 and presented for the first time at the Paris Autumn Show in 1929, represents the first foray of Le Corbusier's studio into the world of interior design. The pieces, originally conceived for the projects of the Maison La Roche in Paris and the Pavilion for Barbara and Henry Church, represent the modernist response to traditional armchairs.

The LC2 armchair, together with the LC3 sofa, is a timeless model that has made, and continues to make, the history of design. Le Corbusier sketched out the seating projects starting from the study of the positions of the human body, in order to respond with the best comfort to these positions and supporting the formal design to the functional need. The LC2 model was later defined by the efforts of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand and at the time was called "Fauteuil Grand Confort, petit modèle". It was produced for the first time by Thonet, while a second edition was launched in 1959 by Heidi Weber, a gallery owner from Zurich, with the name LC (Le Corbusier, in fact). Since 1964 the collection has been produced by Cassina.

The LC2 and LC3 models, ironically called "pillow baskets" by their creators, are characterized by the inversion of the classic structure of a sofa, with the metal supports brought to the outside of the cushions that gently lift the seat from the floor. In order to support the entire structure, the frame is made up of flat and tubular pieces of high quality steel welded together, and coated with a protective chrome layer.

The comfort of an upholstered sofa is here combined with the industrial aesthetic of the international style, in a design product that is still undeniably relevant today.

The pure essentiality of LC5

LC5 is a project conceived for the Parisian apartment of Le Corbusier and his wife Yvonne in rue Nungesseret-Coli 24 and was re-edited by Cassina in 1974. After an in-depth analysis of the archive documentation carried out in collaboration with the Le Corbusier Foundation, Cassina has revived it with new finishes and more comfortable proportions than its first edition. The overall comfort and structural integrity of the LC5 sofa have been maintained while respecting its immediately recognizable shape.

It is a sofa without armrests, with two or three seats, with a polished chromed steel frame or painted in semi-glossy gray, blue, green, mud, ivory and black colors. The cushions are characterized by a padding with a polyurethane foam insert and a leather or fabric cover. The backrest reaches up to the base structure and the wide cushions offer an extremely comfortable seat.

Its minimalist appearance is the epitome of modern aesthetics and finds a timeless value in its simplicity.

Refolo: between tradition and modernity

“The Eiffel Tower could never have been built in wood”. Yet, after researching the use of chromed steel for the structure of the seats, Perriand shows her ability to appreciate the traditional materials of the places she lives: from Provencal woods to Japanese bamboo.

Refolo is a modular system with simple and essential volumes, created by Charlotte Perriand for her home in Tokyo in 1953. The design of the seat, which can be used in the same way as a bench, coffee table or, with the addition of padded cushions, as sofa, finds an evident inspiration in the materials and in the Japanese functional aesthetics. Positioned at an ideal height for a variety of possible uses, the horizontal top is made up of nineteen parallel wooden slats in natural or dark stained oak, supported by two or three legs. The system of cushions consisting of back, seat and padded armrests integrates with the utmost simplicity and harmony to the structure, through an anchoring device that allows a free and flexible arrangement. Ideal for the living room or for the relaxation area, Refolo lends itself to various configurations to offer maximum comfort and to facilitate conversation.

Contemporaneity and research are the striking characteristics of Refolo, one of the first products by Charlotte Perriand that Cassina re-edited in 2004 and which today are part of the Cassina ‘’I Maestri” collection.


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