Dezeen Magazine

by Alessandro Mendini

Ten designs worth knowing by the late Alessandro Mendini

Following the death of influential Italian architect, designer and theorist Alessandro Mendini this week, here's a look at 10 projects completed across his 60-year career, from the seminal Proust chair to a chequered bus stop.

Alessandro Mendini

Proust armchair, 1978

Mendini's most iconic project, the revolutionary Proust armchair, combined a baroque shape with a pointillist surface pattern derived from the work of artist Paul Signac, made up of hundreds of tiny hand-painted dots.

The chair was designed with prolific French writer Marcel Proust in mind. It has been reimagined many times over the years, but notably in 2015 it was launched in plastic by furniture brand Magis.

Torre Paradiso, Hiroshima, Japan, 1988, by Alessandro Mendini

Torre Paradiso, Hiroshima, Japan, 1988

This commemorative tower in Hiroshima was built to mark the centenary of the city's ferry terminal. Its striking shape was designed by Mendini to create a symbol of hope and prosperity for the city.

Steintor bus stops, Hannover, Germany, 1992, by Alessandro Mendini

Steintor bus stops, Hannover, Germany, 1992

This bus and tram station in Hannover was hard to miss, with its black and yellow chequerboard walls and golden turrets.

It was recently dismantled to make way for a new line, but is expected to be rebuilt in a new location soon.

Groninger Museum, Netherlands, 1994, by Alessandro Mendini

Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands, 1994

Mendini enlisted Philippe Starck, Michele De Lucchi and Coop Himmelb(l)au to help him design the colourful collection of buildings that make up this important art and design museum in Groningen.

He designed the central museum building, which features a bold yellow tower, while his collaborators added an assortment of unusual pavilions around it.

Anna G corkscrew, 1994, by Alessandro Mendini

Anna G corkscrew, 1994

The anthropomorphic shape of this corkscrew is based on Mendini's friend and fellow designer, Anna Gili.

The product was a huge success for Alessi, selling 20,000 in the first year, and it spawned a family of matching products, including the Anna tea set and the Parrot corkscrew.

, by Alessandro Mendini

Galleria Mendini, Lörrach, Germany, 2004

Mendini's bold use of colour and shape is used to liven up this otherwise simple commercial building. It was originally intended as a shopping centre, hence the name, but eventually ended up as an office block.

Moka Alessi coffee maker, 2011, by Alessandro Mendini

Moka Alessi coffee maker, 2011

Over the years, Alessi president Alberto Alessi has asked a select few designers to reimagine the classic Italian stove-top espresso maker invented by his grandfather Alfonso Bialetti. Machines have been designed by figures including Richard Sapper, Michele De Lucchi and Aldo Rossi.

Mendini's version features a curvaceous aluminium body and ergonomic handle, created to bring the design to a contemporary market.

Roy stool for Kartell, 2015, by Alessandro Mendini

Roy stool for Kartell, 2015

Made from injection-moulded plastic, the Roy stool for Italian brand Kartell features graphics based on the work of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Its rounded shape is intended to reference a traditional Chinese stool. Mendini discussed the product in an exclusive 2015 interview with Dezeen.

Appartement N°50 at Cité Radieuse, France, 2016, by Alessandro Mendini

Appartement N°50 at Cité Radieuse, Marseille, France, 2016

In 2016, Mendini became the latest in a series of designers to revamp an apartment in Le Corbusier's seminal Cité Radieuse housing block in Marseille.

His refurbishment included colourful totems and postmodern furnishings, plus playful re-imaginings of some his classic designs, including a gold mini version of the Proust chair and ornaments covered in his now-trademark pointillist pattern.

Rombo vase for Lasvit, 2018, by Alessandro Mendini

Rombo vase for Lasvit, 2018

For his final Salone de Mobile in Milan, Mendini was part of the memorable Monster Cabaret, a project by glass brand Lasvit that saw an old puppet theatre transformed into a showcase of "monsters".

Mendini's design, called Rombo, was a series of ghostly vases with striking blue eyes.