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.
Lina is a re-edition of one of the earliest projects designed by Gianfranco Frattini, one of the great masters of Italian design. Nominated in 1955 for the Compasso d’oro, the armchair features an unusual wood frame that lends it a solid, yet lightweight, appearance. Its singularity lies in the slender legs and bent plywood element that supports the side of the seat back and curves up to become the ‘wing’ upon which the armrests sit. A very innovative workmanship technique for its time, carried out today with historical accuracy. An armchair that makes a bold statement, thanks to its timeless style, Lina can be paired with unaffected ease with all the sofas in the Tacchini collection, in residential and contract settings.
Carlo De Carli
Born in Milan, Carlo De Carli (1910-1999) graduated in 1934 in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan, worked for a year in the studio of Gio Ponti and took over the chair in interior architecture, furniture and decoration from him in 1962. Curator of the X and XI Milan Triennale, he was head of the architecture faculty from 1965 to 1968. Editor of the magazine Interni from 1967 to 1971. Design, research, teaching and promotion were the areas of action of his work, carried out with a broad communality of thinking and focused on people and the social and production context in which they operate.
For De Carli the attitude behind the design of a house or of a chair does not change: “I love any form of architecture, provided it’s researched, tested and essential (…) furniture too… I’ve designed a lot… it only seeks measure and not any effect… above all the measure that relates to the space of the home, in the sense of a tree” (Creatività, 1973). The first important building dates from 1949, the office and residential building in via dei Giardini in Milan, in whose basement a few years later he built the Teatro Sant’Erasmo. Some of his key works were built in the 50s and 60s, such as the group of school and religious buildings of the Opera Don Calabria in Cimiano (Milan), the Negrar hospital in Verona and the churches of Sant’Ildefonso and San Gerolamo Emiliani in Milan. In the same period he designed a number of furniture items produced by Cassina (the model 683 chair won the first Compasso d’Oro in 1954), Tecno (the Balestra chair won the Grand Prix at the XI Triennale) and later Sormani, Longhi, Cinova and other artisan firms. Through the publication il mobile italiano (1957-60) he promoted renewal of traditional furniture production centres and the coming together of international design culture, young architects and local artisans.
Another important addition to the 2019 collections is this prestigious reissue, which Tacchini is excited to announce: Sella sofa by Carlo De Carli. Sella illustrates the concept of “primary space” from De Carli’s philosophy – that of a “relational space” –, a principle true to Tacchini’s vision of the function of furniture and interior design. Sella is inspired by the armchair of the same name designed in 1966 by the famous Italian architect.
The highly elegant sofa is made using the very finest of materials: exposed walnut, elegant metal chromed details finish shiny black and belts for the support of the backrest in refined natural leather. The cushions are filled with feathers, and the coverings could be in leather, fabric or velvet. Its soft, generous line offers the utmost refinement, and is designed to guarantee extraordinary comfort, conducive to a slow tempo that will reconcile us with ourselves and others, in a more intimate and private spatial dimension.
Born in Vienna in 1913, the son of the famous art historian Max Eisler, one of the founding members of the Austrian Werkbund, Martin Eisler studied in Vienna under the noted architects Oskar Strnad and Clemens Holzmeister. In 1938 he moved to Buenos Aires, where he immediately set about holding his first exhibition of designs and furniture at the Mueller Gallery, which became the National Office of Fine Arts in 1940, in the Palais de Glace. In 1945 he founded the business Interieur with Arnold Hackel, which sold furniture and objects designed by the duo, launching his career as a designer. His work also took him to Brazil, where in 1955 he went into partnership with Carlo Hauner from the company Moveis Artesanais, and became Art Director of the company Forma in São Paulo. Eisler’s experience in Brazil aroused his interest in exotic woods and varnishing and lacquering techniques on wood, glass and bronze. Also greatly appreciated as an architect for his projects characterised by their all-encompassing creativity, which customised every detail, from buildings to furniture, Eisler also worked as a set designer and opera director. His most famous design pieces include the Reversível and Costela chairs, which were awarded the prestigious Milanese Compasso d’Oro.
Costela is a paradigm of creative design. The fundamental idea on which the chair is built is the beautiful wooden structure with its wooden ribs embracing both the seat and the back, and the functional and aesthetic completion of the detail, the large cushions, set horizontally and vertically, ensuring absolute comfort with an extremely natural style in their almost random position. The structure is easy to dismantle and recycle, a characteristic perfect for the current need and tendency to produce furniture that gives due consideration to the principles of sustainability and durability. The possibility to play with the fabric coverings makes Costela not only an unmistakable piece of history, but also an item of renewed and irresistible modernity.
The dynamic, flexible reissue of Reversível offers dual comfort with two possible seat positions, to sit in the chair with the back upright, or really relax in a semi-reclining position, parallel with the backrest. The simple, natural movement makes it seem an obvious solution, but it actually represents as ground-breaking an intuition now as then. This original, informal seat with its distinctive lines is completed with a metal structure and fabric coverings. Reversível bears witness to the soft, sensuality of Brazilian 1950s design, a combination of tradition and creativity, folk craft and visionary innovation.
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 — 2020
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, Gianfranco Frattini’s Agnese, Gio, Giulia, Lina, Oliver and Sesann, Umberto Riva’s E63 lamp, Carlo De Carli’s Sella, Martin Eisler’s Costela and Reversível, 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.