Rare Studio B.B.P.R. Sofa in Purple Mohair
Studio B.B.P.R. (B.B.P.), set of lounge chairs and sofa, reupholstered in “Teddy Mohair Amethyste 010” by Pierre Frey, stained beech, stained walnut, Italy, design 1939, production 1940s.
This living room set, designed by Studio B.B.P.R for a private villa in Varese around the 1940s, embodies an intriguing historical significance within the realm of design. The design originates from 1939, custom-made for the Bellini apartment located in Milan. Regrettably, Ernesto Nathan Rogers was unable to participate in the design project during this period, as he was compelled to seek exile in Switzerland due to his Jewish heritage. The lounge chairs and sofa from this set are exceptionally rare and have remained relatively unknown to the public eye, with limited reproductions made. However, the interior of the apartment gained significant recognition during that period and was prominently featured in Domus magazine issue number 162, titled "Le arti nella casa" in June 1941. The publication even dedicated its cover to the apartment, accompanied by a fold-out floor map showcasing detailed drawings of the furniture pieces. The philosophy of BBPR truly resonates with the design of the interior. Their approach to art and architecture falls somewhere between tradition and modernism. While modernism often disregards historical forms, B.B.P.R. embraces and reinterprets the legacy of the past, paying homage to their predecessors' work. In this particular setting, neoclassical furniture and decorations coexist harmoniously with their more modern-designed furniture pieces. The lounge chairs and sofa reflect B.B.P.R.'s architectural sensibility. The set is characterized by distinct geometric shapes and clear lines. When viewed from the side, the chairs feature gracious, undulating forms. The sofa, on the other hand, showcases an intriguing grid-like framework at the back with cleverly composed gaps. This design element effectively counterbalances the overall weighty appearance of the sofa. While the original design contained lacquered iron feet, this particular set features wooden feet, adding a touch of warmth and organic beauty to the pieces. In conclusion, this living room set stands as a remarkable testament to the impeccable craftsmanship and artistry of B.B.P.R, resulting in a truly captivating and unique design.
Studio B.B.P.R. was an Italian architectural partnership founded in Milan in 1932 by Gianluigi Banfi (1910-1945), Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso (1909-2004), Enrico Peressutti (1908-1976) and Ernesto Nathan Rogers (1909-1969) who had studied at the Politecnico di Milano. B.B.P.R. was thus an acronym formed from the first letters of their family names. The architects found each other in their opposition to fascism in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s during Mussolini's autocratic regime. The architects therefore believed in developing a style that would have no references to contemporary politics. During the Second World War, they all joined the resistance. However, Rogers, a Jew, fled to Switzerland and both Belgiojoso and Banfi were deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where Banfi died in 1945. Despite the immense loss of Banfi, their architectural practice continued in the same name as before after the war. Especially during the 1950s, they created many of their great projects. With their designs, they strongly reacted against the International Style with its rectilinear forms and taut plane surfaces that have been completely stripped of applied ornamentation. Instead, the group enriched their buildings with medieval references. For B.B.P.R., their philosophy on art and architecture is somewhat between tradition and modernism; their use of post-beam structures and modular elements parallels with the constructive thinking of modern architects. However, as modernism rejects the existence of historical forms, B.B.P.R. reinterprets history's heritage and continues with respect for the work of their predecessors. Ernesto Nathan Rogers referred to it as “preesistenze ambientali” (the pre-existing environment) and adopt a “caso per caso” (case by case) interpretation to work with, instead of against, the surroundings. One of their well-known designs is the creation of the Torre Velasca in Milan, with strong references to medieval architecture. The architects were also frequently employed to create interior spaces altogether with furniture designs.
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