Afra & Tobia Scarpa ‘Benetton’ Chair in Leather and Steel
Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Benetton Office, chair, brass, leather, steel, Italy, 1985.
This chair is designed for the office of the clothing brand Benetton by Afra & Tobia Scarpa. This chair is executed in original cognac leather and tubular steel. The leather upholstery is in rich patinated condition, with dark stains and discoloration all-over. Most remarkable is the half-moon shaped tubular frame which is holding the wide seating area, providing comfort to the sitter. The two thin circular frames which connect the seat and backrest are in contrast with the thick tubular frame, creating this disharmonic look which makes these items even have more visual excitement. The backrest is finished with beautiful geometrical forms and lines. A true modernist item that shows strong resemblance with the iconic tubular chairs of the 1930s by Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Overall, beautiful curved and straight lines with brass accents combine into a modern and clean design.
Afra (1937-2011) & Tobia (1935-) Scarpa are a duo of Italian architects and designers mostly known for their postmodern style. Afra Bianchin was born in 1937 in Montebelluna while Tobia Scarpa, son of the architect Carlo Scarpa, was born in 1935 in Venice. The couple met when they were both studying at the Venice Institute of Architecture and married afterwards. From 1957 until 1961, Tobia worked as a glass designer at the Murano glassworks of Venini. However, in 1960, the duo started to collaborate, and they set up one of the most successful and well-known professional studios. Together, they worked for companies such as Flos Gavina, B&B Italia, and Knoll. The couple won numerous amounts of awards like the Compasso d’Oro and the International Forum Design. Throughout their career, the duo carried out commissions for well-known companies, including Benetton. Overall, their designs are known for their modernist aesthetic, prioritizing elegance and comfort. However, at the same time, their pieces are admired for the ease with which they lean towards classical designs. Moreover, the creations show their deep understanding for materials. Today, many of their works can be found in major museums such as Museum of Modern Art of New York, Musée du Louvre, National Museum of Design New York and many more.
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