Dezeen Magazine

Cassina outdoor furniture

Cassina unveils outdoor furniture designed as "an extension of the home"

Italian brand Cassina has presented its first complete collection of furniture for outdoor spaces, including a reissue of a classic Charlotte Perriand chair and a "love bed" by Patricia Urquiola.

The Cassina Perspective Goes Outdoor includes a comprehensive offering of furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories intended to extend the company's design approach to outdoor products.

Cassina outdoor furniture
The Doron Hotel chair is designed by Charlotte Perriand

Cassina unveiled additions to its existing collection, with archive designs by Le Corbusier and Perriand joining new products by Rodolfo Dordoni, Philippe Starck and Patricia Urquiola.

Perriand's Doron Hotel armchair was designed in 1947 for a winter sports resort in the French Alps. The new outdoor version was developed by Cassina in close collaboration with her daughter Pernette Perriand Barsac.

According to Barbara Lehmann, head of the Cassina's historical archives, the company decided to develop both indoor and outdoor versions of the chair as its design is suited to use in either context.

"The use of thick wood elements with a somewhat rough appearance underlines its natural relationship with nature and the outdoors," Lehmann told Dezeen.

Cassina outdoor furniture
The outdoor version was developed with Perriand's daughter, Pernette Perriand Barsac

Perriand loved to spend time in the mountains and was fascinated by the relationship between humans and nature. Her passion for natural materials informed the rounded forms of the tactile, teak wood frame of the chair.

Lehmaan added that the treatment of the wood directly references the context the chair was created for.

"As the model was designed for a mountain environment, its aim was to enhance the sensuality of wood and convey the idea of solidity and stability," she pointed out.

Cassina outdoor furniture
Patricia Urquiola's Love Bed is part of the Trampoline collection

Also new to the Cassina outdoor collection is Patricia Urquiola's Trampoline furniture, described by the company as "a love bed with a strong personality that becomes the hero of any outdoor space".

Its designer told Dezeen that she wanted to create a flexible product that can be used in multiple ways and doesn't impose a way of sitting on the user.

"You can be by yourself and sit or lie in different ways, whilst having the tools you need around you," said Urquiola.

"Or you can share it with your friends, your loved ones, your children. It's a sort of nest, open like an island or with a fixed canopy that transforms it into a sort of cabin."

Cassina outdoor furniture
It was inspired by the trampolines she saw outside houses in Greenland

The product, which can accommodate several users at once, was inspired by trampolines Urquiola spotted outside houses during a trip to Greenland.

In particular, its circular shape and the way the base and optional canopy are attached to the metal frame using ropes is reminiscent of how trampolines are made.

A set of three large cushions upholstered in water-repellent fabric forms the backrest. Other cushions can be added to create a playful and comfortable environment for lounging.

Cassina outdoor furniture
Outdoor versions of designs by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret are also in the collection, as well as those by Perriand

Both Urquiola and Lehmann told Dezeen that a recent evolution in the way people value outdoor space has prompted Cassina's decision to expand its outdoor furniture offering.

"I think that the desire for quality outdoor furniture is getting stronger because the outdoors is seen as an extension of the home," said Lehmann.

"Today, it's not just about the performance of the furniture, which is fundamental, but also the aesthetics, the comfort and the idea of creating a complete setting with a warm atmosphere."

Cassina outdoor furniture
Rodolfo Dordoni Sail Out coffee tables sit low to the ground

Urquiola, who has held the role of art director at Cassina since 2015, added that the collection she helped to shape seeks to enhance the connection people feel with nature when using the products.

"We try to be in contact with nature or the outdoors as much as we can," she explained. "Outdoors, in a veranda space, we aim at recreating the feeling of nature."

"Therefore, at Cassina we are trying to answer this demand whilst remaining faithful to our principles of offering a diverse vision from different designers, focusing on research and quality rather than a styled solution."

The Cassina Perspective Goes Outdoor also includes a sofa, armchair and coffee table by Philippe Starck.

It utilises primitive forms in sandblasted teak along with a handwoven rope backrest to give it an aesthetic that the designer described as "something between daily DIY and [Marcel] Duchamp’s Ready Made".

Rodolfo Dordoni's Sail Out modular sofa recalls inflatable canvas mattresses that can be combined in endless configurations, while his Dine Out chair and armchair are made from solid teak with armrests and backrests wrapped in polypropylene rope.

Cassina outdoor furniture
Philippe Starck's Fence Nature sofa has been adapted for the outdoors

In addition to the seating designs, Urquiola has created a circular table with an aluminium base and a top in recycled waste plastic.

A table designed by Charlotte Perriand using teak and Carrara marble is also included in the collection.

As Cassina's art director, one of the tasks Urquiola undertook was updating its headquarters in Meda, introducing a wall of plants and a cylindrical meeting space clad in metal panelling.

The first collection she oversaw in 2016 built upon what she described as the "experimental attitude" seen throughout the brand's history.