Dezeen Magazine

Array auditorium seats by Zaha Hadid for Poltrona Frau Contract

Milan 2013: architect Zaha Hadid has designed a system of twisting auditorium seats for Italian brand Poltrona Frau Contract.

Called Array, each chair features a seat that flips diagonally upwards when not in use, forming a triangle with the back and a single armrest.

Array auditorium seats by Zaha Hadid for Poltrona Frau Contract

Poltrona Frau Contract will launch the design in Milan this April as part of an exhibition of work by Zaha Hadid called Multiplicities at Fonderia Napoleonica, Via Thaon di Revel 21, from 9 to 14 April.

Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA will also show a new collection of furniture in Milan, this time for American brand Knoll.

Array auditorium seats by Zaha Hadid for Poltrona Frau Contract

Hadid was recently appointed to develop plans for a new airport near London and also spoke out against the UK's attitude towards female architects.

Array auditorium seats by Zaha Hadid for Poltrona Frau Contract

See all our stories about designs by Zaha Hadid »
See all our stories about seating design »

Here's some more information from Poltrona Frau Contract:

An Array is a matrix in the language of science and is perfectly apt to describe the new auditorium seating system designed by Zaha Hadid for Poltrona Frau Contract as it creates a network of visual and geometrical effects in each seating area. This system forms the basis of a new, prestigious collaboration between the famous designer and the Contract Division of Poltrona Frau.

Array will be introduced as part of the Multiplicities exhibition by Zaha Hadid for the 2013 design week in Milan. Two other projects by the designer will also be shown: the Zephyr sofa and the Liquid Glacial table collection.

Zaha Hadid, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, has attained worldwide renown for her dynamic, visionary architecture and continuous exploration of new relations between urban design, architecture and design with a special focus on technology.

The Array project breaks the mould of traditional auditorium and theatre seating systems. A seat-sculpture. A single, compact, dynamic unit. A self-rotating structure built on the principles of Euclidean geometry with the back, arms and seat appearing to form a single flower bud ready to burst open. A true challenge to the idea of form, disrupting the traditional visual monotony of rows after row of seats. The Array design incorporates dynamic angles to create a range of unique visual effects that change according to the viewer’s vantage point and transform the theatre into a welcoming self-contained place. A new concept in seating that combines unconventional shape with ergonomic design and extremely high levels of comfort.

The Array seating system also presented the Poltrona Frau Contract engineers and artisans with a stimulating challenge, but they proved up to the task, and were able to interpret the philosophy behind the project and capture its sartorial essence with the designer’s intentions reflected in every detail. The final product is an expression of the consolidated artisanal competence gained in one hundred years of tradition in engineering and technological expertise that is constantly evolving in terms of acoustics, visibility and safety. This has led to collaborations between Poltrona Frau Contract and the most prestigious names in international architecture and design such as Santiago Calatrava, Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano and Jean Nouvel. Poltrona Frau Contract’s most recent projects include the Bahrain National Theatre with As Architecture, the Archives Nationales in Paris with Massimiliano Fuksas, the headquarters of Italcementi designed by Richard Meier and the SEA business lounge at Malpensa airport in Milan.