A healthy number of historic furniture pieces are being reissued anew, as seen at many Salone del Mobile booths in May. These three pieces, by Paolo Piva, Carlo Mollino and Frank Lloyd Wright, have us transfixed.
Paolo Piva’s Alanda table
If any one piece of furniture can be said to have established the look of the 1980s, it’s Paolo Piva’s iconic Alanda table, with its geodetic frame and smoky glass top. Piva, who designed the piece just as the Me Decade was sliding into the Reagan era, died last year at the age of 67. Alanda ’18 – B&B Italia’s reintroduction – is the company’s homage to the late architect-designer.
For all of its connections with the eighties, however, Alanda feels more timeless than time-specific. Its black steel frame, which functions as a pedestal, recalls a group of upturned pyramids; the glass top comes in an extra-light as well as a smoky tint. The new version is available in two sizes: 120 by 120 centimetres and 120 by 180 centimetres. Like the original, the reissue will be made in Italy. bebitalia.com
Carlo Mollino’s Fenis Chair
A world-record price for a piece of 20th-century furniture was set in 2005 when an oak-and-glass table by Italian architect and designer Carlo Mollino was auctioned by Christie’s New York for just over US$3.8 million. Mollino’s Fenis Chair, a late-1950s piece re-released this spring by Zanotta, won’t set buyers back quite that much, but it’s no less covetable.
Distinguished by its sinuous back and splayed legs, the chair was designed by Mollino for the Turin Faculty of Architecture in 1959 and entered Zanotta’s catalogue in the mid-1980s; the company produced it from 1985 to 1996, making this new version – available in natural or black-painted solid maple – its first reappearance in more than two decades. Collectors, take note. zanotta.it
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin 1 Armchair
As anyone who has visited Taliesin West will know, the furniture that American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his home/studio in Arizona was just as significant – and distinctive – as the architecture. Case in point: the Taliesin 1 armchair, often described as “wooden origami.” Wright created the chair, which is made from a single piece of folded plywood, for his living room at Taliesin West.
The first reedition was produced by Cassina between 1986 and 1990; this year’s rerelease, which features thicker padding and a more reclined backrest, is made from beech plywood with a cherry veneer (like the original) or natural or stained black oak. Of special note are the 450 limited-edition versions featuring coloured profiles and upholstery: 150 each in blue, burgundy and petrol green. cassina.com