For Molteni&C’s first Outdoor Collection, creative director Vincent Van Duysen has designed a sober and elegant proposal that embodies his style and incorporates refined visual rigor and form that does not overlook functionality.
The new Outdoor Collection coordinated by Vincent Van Duysen is interpreted by leading contemporary designers: from Foster + Partner to Ron Gilad, from Gio Ponti to Luca Meda. In this proposal, Van Duysen has delved into the rich tradition of design, emphasizing a strong focus on savoir-faire for craftsmanship and a deep respect for heritage.
The Creative Vision of Vincent Van Duysen
“Just as in the 2022 indoor collection, in the new outdoor proposal, I pursued an idea of soft comfort, of organic playfulness in an architectural vision of furniture. I was inspired by modernism to recall the idea of permeability and transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces and that intimate connection with light and nature,” explains Vincent Van Duysen.
Molteni’s Outdoor Collection encompasses several concepts, all of which can coexist in the same organic vision. The Landmark Collection, for example, gets inspiration for its sofa from the unprecedented design of Palinfrasca by renowned designer Luca Meda. A testimony to Italian savoir-faire and great craftsmanship.
Vincent Van Duysen’s Timeout Collection features a wide range of elegant outdoor elements inspired by the soft forms of modernist architecture. While the Heritage Collection includes a reissue of two Gio Ponti armchairs. Completing the offering are two stand-alone Iconic Pieces by Foster + Partners and Ron Gilad, which dialogue perfectly with the collection as a whole.
The common theme of the entire furniture line is the dialogue between materials. The use of solid teak in the Landmark Collection naturally matches the metal profiles of the Timeout Collection. While the concrete finish of Foster + Partners’ Arc table creates a play of contrasts and references with the perforated iron top and lava stone base of Ron Gilad’s Panna Cotta table.
Woven motifs also become important conceptual references throughout the collection, in the form of polypropylene rope details in the Timeout Collection, or in bands for the backrest of the Palinfrasca sofa, made of teak or EVA polyurethane, which is inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of basket making.
To fully experience outdoor spaces, the Outdoor proposal is completed with an outdoor kitchen, Helios, designed by Vincent Van Duysen.
“Conviviality and sophistication are the keywords I wanted to attribute to this outdoor kitchen. A piece of furniture with a simple but structured flavor, where functionality and sophistication coexist to create a modern design,” says Van Duysen.
Helios is the outdoor kitchen that encapsulates Italian-made craftsmanship combined with innovative technologies, making it suitable for outdoor use. Its clean, rigorous lines and monolithic yet discreet impact allow it to be combined with both the Landmark and Timeout collections.
The material palette of the Outdoor proposal has been carefully coordinated: organic tones such as rust, desert yellow, earth brown, olive green, and anthracite give it a unique personality, dialoguing perfectly with each other.
Molteni&C’s ongoing commitment to sustainability also finds a foundation in the new collection. A responsibility that is pursued at every stage of production, from the initial design to the disassembly phase of the product. The furniture in the collection is predominantly single-material and comes from certified supply chains; parts are replaceable and, as in the case of the upholstery, recyclable. The colors of the lava stone surfaces are made by salvaging glass from discarded TV and PC monitors. Through a process of crushing and grinding the glass, the raw material of the decors and full-field coloring is obtained.
“For a new idea of Outdoor, because it is based on cultural and design references of the tradition, but modern, characterized by an idea of simplicity that springs from careful games of proportions. Technology is cutting-edge but hidden, materials are natural and timeless. Characteristics intrinsic to Molteni&C’s identity: fine craftsmanship, refined details, and the beauty of individual objects that encapsulate the echoes of the great architects and designers of the past and have been reinterpreted in this collection. The new Outdoor proposal shows a graphic presence and a sense of timeless elegance that I find in the brand,” Vincent Van Duysen points out.
Molteni Outdoor: Landmark Collection
The Landmark Collection is a testament to Italian savoir-faire: a refined blend of tradition, craftsmanship, and timeless style. The rich proposal that includes sofas, end elements, chaise longues, small sofas, and armchairs, all rich in precious details, was made possible through the use of various techniques of fine cabinet-making, an integral part of Molteni&C’s DNA.
The flowing, organic lines are skillfully crafted from solid teak, characterized by warm natural tones. At the center of the collection, a tribute is paid to one of Molteni&C’s most iconic archival designs: the classic Palinfrasca sofa by Luca Meda, originally designed in 1994, now finds new life.
Palinfrasca is defined by its rounded shape, solid frame, and banded woven backrest, available in either natural teak or EVA polyurethane. The pattern draws its inspiration from the combination of poles and branches in workmanship reminiscent of basketry, recalling the natural ease of the Mediterranean style. The design not only emphasizes a sense of formal purity but is also extremely comfortable and ergonomic, thanks to the removable cushions and the variety of possible declinations.
Molteni Outdoor: Timeout Collection
In designing the Timeout Collection, Van Duysen drew inspiration from the essential forms of modernist architecture, in which the seemingly cold character of metal is tempered by fine lines. The proposal recalls the fer forgé technique, whereby craftsmen lend a sculptural quality to structural metal elements.
For example, the Phoenix sofa is structurally defined by a burnished painted aluminum band that traces, like a continuous ribbon, the silhouette, or the Golden Gate table, where the band frames the slatted table top in teak or lava stone.
The more pronounced and solid profiles of the Phoenix sofa and Golden Gate table are contrasted by the woven patterns of the Hyde ottoman, made of polypropylene rope, the Guell lounger, and the Greenpoint chairs.
Molteni Outdoor: Heritage Collection
The Heritage Collection, born from Molteni&C’s long collaboration with some of the most important designers of the 20th century, including the Gio Ponti Archive, reissues for this collection two of the most beloved works by the celebrated Milanese architect and designer.
The D150.5 chaise longue, originally designed in 1952 for the outdoor spaces of the cruise ship Andrea Doria, is characterized by an elongated shell consisting of a single continuous line in solid teak and a precise angle, faithfully taken from Ponti’s original drawings.
The second seat is the D154.2 designed in 1954 for the Planchart collectors’ villa in Caracas (1953-57). The iconic love chair shell was made of rigid polyurethane – the cushion is water-repellent, for an elegant seating concept, refined and with advanced technical development.