Milan 2013: Zaha Hadid launched a sofa based on natural rock formations at an exhibition of her new furniture designs in a former foundry last week.
The shape of the Zephyr Sofa by Zaha Hadid for Italian firm Cassina Contract is derived from erosion patterns, resulting in fluid banks of seating with deep platforms and backrests to encourage sprawling. The pieces have no front or back and can be joined together to create larger configurations.
Hadid explained the origins of her flexible furniture designs in a talk on the opening night: "When I was doing plans years ago, people always said 'what kind of furniture will you put against this kind of curved wall?' So it emerged from that - this idea of making islands or spaces in a modulated form, a sequence or a fluid movement within a space."
"These pieces are very communicative, they are never meant to be pushed up against a wall," added partner Patrik Schumacher. "You can put them in any direction, you can seat more people and it's slightly ambiguous how you can congregate."
The outside surfaces are finished in glossy lacquer and topped with foam upholstered in tactile fabrics.
The piece was shown at Multiplicities, an exhibition of furniture designs by Zaha Hadid in the north of Milan last week, which also featured the Array auditorium seats by Zaha Hadid for Poltrona Frau Contract.
Elsewhere in Milan, Hadid also presented a limited edition of tables for marble brand Citco at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, two lamps for Slamp at the Euroluce lighting show and a bench based on glacial crevices in the Tortona district.
Photographs are by Jacopo Spilimbergo.
Here's some more information from Zaha Hadid Architects:
The sinuous shape of the Zephyr sofa has been inspired by natural rock formations shaped by erosion: the application of subtractive processes that carve solid matter. The resulting formal language gives the Zephyr sofa increased ergonomic properties without compromising the design’s fluidity or proportion; translating into a concept that allows for multiple seating layouts.
The carved profile incorporates deep backrests and generous undercuts for unrivalled comfort. A lacquered finish applied to Zephyr’s structural elements highlights every subtle nuance of its composition, and is contrasted by the tactile qualities of its bespoke upholstery and cushioning.
Zephyr showcases Cassina Contract’s unrivalled technical experience and longstanding tradition of artisan excellence.
Architect: Zaha Hadid Design
Design: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
Design team: Fulvio Wirz, Mariagrazia Lanza, Maha Kutay
Manufacturer: Cassina Contract