Maestri or “masters” are those charismatic figures capable of teaching and handing down an art through their direct actions and also through the inheritance of their actual works. In design the maestri communicate through the classics, timeless designs far from any idea of fashions and trends yet so powerful as to produce a style naturally. Tacchini has set aside some rooms in its living environment for the classics and the masters who have designed them, in a process of revivals which are a challenge and a lesson on contemporary style.
The hero of Italian design, Achille Castiglioni, along with his brothers Pier Giacomo and Livio, was able to find irony and beauty into the simplicity of everyday life. From the simplest electrical switches to the most iconic project of modern design, Castiglioni brothers transformed their uncontrollable curiosity in a series of timeless pieces.
Tacchini proposes the revival of two famous pieces of Achille Castiglioni, realized inside a larger project dedicated to the reproduction of classics of modern design. Babela, designed in 1958 along with his brother Pier Giacomo, and Sancarlo, created for the first time in 1970, sum up the spirit of the period joining the formal experimentation to technical innovation. Achille e Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed Babela, a stackable chair, for the Milan chamber of commerce. They imagined a tower made by seats, stackable and easily transportable. Its design was simple and archetypical, with a particular mixture of materials, visual texture and tactile effects. On the other hand, Sancarlo, plays with rounded and organic shapes to allow a flexible seat, and, at the same time, suitable to the comfort of person.
Gianfranco Frattini is one of that skilled generation of architects and designers, who have marked the Italian design movement of the last century. Frattini’s projects are characterized by a formal elegance, which is able to transmit clearly, and simply the ideas and thoughts that led to their creation. At the beginning of his career, he was a collaborator of Giò Ponti. Over the years, Gianfranco Frattini will develop a personal and symptomatic approach to the design based on a careful formal and structural research.
Agnese and Sesann have the same soul of design, with two different visual configurations. Designed in 1956, in the studio in via Sant’Agnese in Milan, Agnese comes out from the idea to realize the archetype of the informal armchair. It is characterized by an upholstery seat – geometric and basic – with a classical linear and wooden base. On the other hand, Sesann is characterized by an organic and informal shape, made by wrapping a tubular metal around a soft and upholstered seat.
Agnese, the armchair, is produced in a very accurate way and with extreme fidelity to the original design; moreover, following from Frattini’s original project, the armchair is accompained by a matching ottoman. Agnese is just the beginning of a comprehensive project that aims to support the revival of a great designer’s style but also an entire atmosphere of interior decor.
Respecting the thought of Gianfranco Frattini, the new edition of Sesann keeps the spirit of the product intact. Characterized by a fabric or leather upholstery, Sesann owes its typical soft and enveloping form to the cold foam structure, encircled with an architectural tubular steel (chrome or painted), with feet in ash wood. The particular configuration of Sesann – both formal and functional – constitutes the basis for a system of products characterized by the same structural elements, but declined in unique and fascinating objects. This approach of synthesis and reduction, proposed by Frattini, produced a formally elegant design, conceptually elaborated and, above all, unique.
Relaunch of an original project of Gianfranco Frattini dated 1957, but still actual for its shapes and spirit, Giulia armchair creates in the contemporary space a timeless feeling of beauty, comfort and harmony. A flawless realization, typical of Tacchini’s tradition, from the choice of materials for the embrace-shaped structure, to the ash wood basis dyed dark walnut or grey with artisan taste. Inspired by a classic piece of Italian design designed in 1957 by Gianfranco Frattini and nominated the same year for Compasso d’Oro, Gio is a low table which expresses an idea of rationalist rigor and refined elegance, creating the emotion of a warm bourgeois atmosphere. It is characterized by the linear wood structure and by the ash double face plan dyed dark walnut or grey on one side, or yellow, grey or steel blue laminated on the other side.
Designed by Gianfranco Frattini in 1957 and produced as from the following year, the 872 sofa has achieved a huge success over the years. Minimalist and elegant, it features a lightweight structure in steel with end feet in wood and tufted upholstery on the seat and back, a detail requiring great craft expertise.
A master of lighting, Umberto Riva was born in Milan in 1928 and has worked in design since 1960. Having studied with Carlo Scarpa, Riva pursued his own personal research process via the most widely differing disciplines, from urban spaces to buildings, landscape to interiors, outfitting to the design of lamps and furniture. His most important creations include Casa Frea in Milan, considered to be one of his masterpieces, the redevelopment of Piazza San Nazaro in Milan, restoration of the historic Caffè Pedrocchi in Padua, the design for the work on the Viale del Ministero degli Esteri and Piazza della Farnesina in Rome, the Biblioteca Europea at Porta Vittoria in Milan, the thermal power plants in Catanzaro and Campobasso and a long line of houses, from Milan to Sardinia and Puglia, as well as various designs of lamps and furniture for the biggest names in Italian design. The more recent works include the church of San Corbiniano in Rome, outfitting of the exhibition L’Italia di Le Corbusier at the MAXXI in Rome and the solo show at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Canada. Considered an out-of-the-ordinary architect, Riva has retained an artisan dimension in architecture and design work. His designs are “born drawn”, pencil sketches of a pure and poetic research.
The design for this lamp dates back to 1963, and today it is reissued with the name E63. This alphanumeric code is a reflection of the intellectual complexity of its designer, Umberto Riva: part architect, part designer, part artist, part light-tamer, and a whole lot of all these things. A table lamp designed with great precision, featuring simple lines around broad surfaces, that seemingly give a solid form to the light itself: steel, almost armour, protecting the precious source.
1939 — 2018
Today, half a century after their creation, the projects realized by these great masters of the past continue to keep alive the soul of the Italian line through a series of revivals made by Tacchini. Castiglioni brothers’ Babela and Sancarlo, Franco Albini’s Bianca and Monzino and Gianfranco Frattini’s Agnese and Sesann represent the result of a meticulous collaboration among designers, artisans and producers. Tacchini proposes these pieces with the desire to preserve and communicate the ideals that have guided their creation. Maintaining the integrity of the original projects, Tacchini has adapted the designer’s drawings to modern production. In this way, it has transferred the past design culture to the present.