Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau


Milan 2012: this armchair with a pleated leather seat by London designer Benjamin Hubert was inspired by sleeves with puffed shoulders on Italian Renaissance clothing.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

The Juliet chair features leather stretched over the base to expose the wooden frame underneath, while the seat is covered in squashy leather pleated in a triangular pattern.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

Hubert's was the winning design in a competition where twelve designers were invited to design an armchair to celebrate Italian brand Poltrona Frau's 100th birthday.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

See all our stories about his work here.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile took place from 17 to 22 April. See all our stories about Milan 2012 here.

Here's some more information from Hubert:


Benjamin Hubert x Poltrona Frau

Benjamin Hubert has won the international competition to find Poltrona Frau’s Centenary armchair. The armchair for the 100 year old company that will be launched at Salone Del Mobile, enters into its iconic limited edition collection to represent its history and future.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

The brief of the competition was to utilise the traditional upholstery techniques under the theme ‘a chair to spend time in’ and judged under the categories of; formal appearance, representation of the given theme, use and interpretation of leather and comfort.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

Juliet, the chair awarded winner of the competition, is inspired by the Italian renaissance fashion detail the ‘Juliet sleeve’ a sleeve which tightly fits the arm and has a large de constructed ‘puff’ on the shoulder.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

This inspiration was used to communicate the properties of leather upholstery. The outside of the chair utilises the flexibility and tensile strength of leather to describe a fluted traditional timber frame work where the shape of the timber can clearly be seen through the tight leather covering. This is contrasted by a ‘tri-pleated’ generous sitting area with a soft and loose appearance. This deconstructed area is used to describe the comfort of the chair. The shape of the sitting area is ‘wide screen’ to allow the user to sit in multiple positions in line with how people really use and miss-use furniture.

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

To celebrate Poltrona Frau’s centenary in 2012 the company “selected 12 of the most “promising young designers” from all over the world to compete in the challenge of designing the Poltrona Frau centenary armchair

Juliet by Benjamin Hubert for Poltrona Frau

The 12 designers include: Benjamin Hubert, Nendo, Stephen Burks, Nika Zupanc, Constance Guisset, Daphna Laurens

The 9 judges: Livia Peraldo Matton - Editor in Chief of Elle Decor Italy, Giulio Cappellini - Creative Director of Cappellini, François-Henry Pinault - Chairman of PPR Group, Jean Nouvel - Architect, Vanessa Friedman - Financial Times Fashion Editor, Anne-Sophie Von Clear - Deputy Director Lifestyle Le Figaro, Walter De Silva - Head Designer of the Audi Brand Group, Ratan Naval Tata - Chairman of Tata Group, Thomas Maier - Bottega Veneta

Materials: Leather,Polyurethane foam, Timber
Dimensions: W1000mm x H750mm x D800mm

  • It looks like a slightly obscure and sunken cup cake. Not one of Benjamin Hubert's best designs.

  • coats r us

    introducing the puffa jacket chair

  • teddy

    very interesting project, its good that it doesn't look like a poltrona frau chair!

    Nice work.

  • Vicki

    This is UGLY!

    I can appreciate the idea and yes the quilting is nice. But the over all design is hideous and to top it of… blue leather. Delightful.

  • jack

    Very tacky chair! It is delightful…. The world is enough polluted with too many chairs…this one is just too much

  • Dan

    Another example of a competition win through being a "designer of the moment" . This hideous collapsed soufflé will do more harm to Poltrona Frau's reputation than good.

  • taco

    jesus that is bad. think he should slow down a bit and start analysing and reflecting more on his designs. right now the studio are just spewing out designs in desperation .

  • curator

    a very nice project, although clearly not to everyone's taste…Which is a bonus I think, you have to polarise to do something fresh.

    Although some of the comments here seem extreme. Especially tacos. 'Spewing out designs in desperation' get a grip taco- in desperation of what? It won the competition after all and it seems to be a good studio. Maybe you are writing negative comments in desperation…and certainly for the wrong reasons.

    This is a good project, with a creative look at leather in my opinion.

  • xtiaan

    pleatings lovely, form is awful though.

  • Xit

    Reminds me of a 'solid' version of 'Skin' / Molteni by Jean Nouvel crossed with 'Crash' E&Sons by Constantin Gricic.

    Unfortunately without the grace of 'Skin' or the honesty of 'crash'

  • talisgeir

    I'm surprised by the intensity of the negative comments. I think it's quite beautiful to look at and actually, unlike some designer seating, appears as though it might be comfortable to sit in. Ah, but then I'm an architect, clearly my view points are skewed…