Zephyr Sofa by Zaha Hadid
for Cassina Contract


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.

Zephyr Sofa by Zaha Hadid Architects for Cassina Contract

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."

Zephyr Sofa by Zaha Hadid Architects for Cassina Contract

"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.

Zephyr Sofa by Zaha Hadid Architects for Cassina Contract

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.

Zephyr Sofa by Zaha Hadid Architects for Cassina Contract

Photographs are by Jacopo Spilimbergo.

See all our stories about architecture and design by Zaha Hadid »
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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
Dimensions: 265x284x73cm

  • Bhavnesh

    Where are the people? No sense of scale or function at the moment.

  • Kate Millington

    These don’t look comfortable.

  • Alexei

    I’m still trying to decide if this furniture was made for a new Flintstones or Jetsons movie.

  • cats

    Nothing more than a vanity project for Cassina. This will be on a few blogs here and there, then be gone. Furniture as fashion.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I guess erosion patterns are more relevant than ergonomics. These pieces should not be called sofas, because they are impractical for sitting.

  • AsWicked

    Wow, Zaha Hadid Architects! I’m blown away by the fact that you could actually sit on these sofas.

  • Would look good in a bar or hotel setting. Useless in the home.

  • Thássio

    I disagree with all the post above, to create a seat, a sofa, furniture you have to follow rules, you have patterns. I see the sofa as a good place for you to lay down and read a book, I can see the furniture in big halls of companies. I just can’t visualise many houses that could use it.

    • C

      Same here, I would like one in my living room :)
      Something different from most boring sofas.

  • bulo

    I think architects should really stop creating pieces of furniture. Each to his job!

  • fuw

    @ bulo. Since when is design not the core task of an architect? Have you ever heard about Mackintosh, Saarinen, Wright, Le Corbusier, Rietveld, Aalto? And the list can continue. Weren’t all these people great architects AND designers? So please, think twice before writing something which is a really bad advertisement for yourself and your profession.

    Regarding Zaha’s work, people should really understand that what she designs is experimental and borderline. So don’t comment “I can’t see this in my home.” It’s the same principle as an F1 car. Would you drive an F1 car to your workplace? You wouldn’t and you can’t! But the research behind an F1 car makes normal cars better. Same applies to Zaha’s work. That is called research and experimentation.

  • Alan

    Can somebody give me those reference talks about Zaha Hadid furniture construction? Research purposes, thanks.

  • oyster

    Where do you sit on that?