Poltrona Frau expands its outdoor offer with Souvenir d’Italie, the new collection composed of sofa and coffee tables designed by Ludovica+Roberto Palomba, and Leplì Outdoor, as well as the successful poufs designed by Kensaku Oshiro, redesigned to furnish exterior living spaces.
Products that confirm the vision of boundless living, between Interior and Exterior rooms, toggling both the functionality and enjoyment of furnishings, and seeking to increase an already substantial and versatile proposal that defines atmospheres and lifestyles. The furniture dialogues with each other, in a harmony of chromatic and material correspondences.
Poltrona Frau’s vision of “boundless living,” breaks free of the distinction between the world of outdoor and indoor, to create spaces to be lived in all year round – designing all sorts of spaces from the more usual plein-air or poolside to the decks of yachts and ships or the relaxation spaces of prestigious university campuses, to the more liminal areas, such as rooftops, balconies, terraces and winter gardens.
The novel outdoor Souvenir d’Italie collections, Ludovica + Roberto Palomba’s new interpretation of archetypal signs and materials used in outdoor decor, and the three Leplì poufs, designed by Kensaku Oshiro, stand out among the new additions, reinterpreting the successful indoor series with its sartorial character, but starting with the technical material, a sophisticated handmade woven polypropylene rope.
Souvenir d’Italie Poltrona Frau
A name that harkens back to the famous film of the same name directed by Antonio Pietrangeli in 1957, a film that recounts a revival of Italy, celebrating its art and the beauty of nature. That is what the outdoor collection designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, consisting of a sofa and coffee table, wants to return to – evoking the feeling of culture and positivity as well as joviality.
Sustainability is a core element of the collection. All of its aluminum structural components can be disassembled and separated, and its cushions easily removed or replaced, as can its foams and upholstery, ensuring the proper recycling and disposal of each material.
The generously sized Souvenir d’Italie sofa is distinguished by its essential design, marked by a few distinctive and well-characterized elements that bring back an idea of more casual and less formal comfort, typical of outdoor uses.
The complement interprets two archetypes of outdoor furniture: metal and woven straps. It also echoes the wooden bench, a garden seat par excellence, whose slats are recalled this time by the distinctive graphic effect of the straps.
The supporting structure, made of extruded aluminum, consists of three longitudinal beams with an oval section that draw an “L” and is wrapped with elastic straps that give it a high level of comfort. Made of polypropylene fiber, the stretch bands provide rhythm with solids and voids to the surface of the seat and backrest, giving it an image of levity and transparency.
Lightness is also emphasized by the supporting feet, made of cast aluminum, which render the form aerial, suspended from the ground. The base of Souvenir d’Italie presents a cantilever effect that is technologically more advanced in this sofa, thanks to the maximum design and production simplification of its components.
The cushions consist of large “mattresses,” underscored by obvious fillets that draw their silhouette. They rest against the woven structure, without hiding it, again accentuating the effect of lightness. To maintain the horizontal effect, reminiscent of the dormeuse or bench types, the armrests are simplified into two cylinders, resting on and supported only by a metal support covered to match the cushions.
Elastic straps in Écru and Taupe colors give a warmer, cozier feel that conjures up natural elements, while the aluminum frame is painted Chalk and Basalt, ton-sur-ton or contrasting with the straps. The finish of the latter is textural and sophisticated, making the material more tactile and textured.
The Souvenir d’Italie coffee table, complementing the sofa, is characterized by its geometric and essential shape that focuses on the purity and diversity of the materials that compose it: metal and marble. Just as in the sofa, the supporting structure is made of extruded aluminum, painted in Gypsum or Basalt shades, which warm the material by evoking nuances closer to nature.
The top is made of Arabescato Marble with a natural finish, bringing back in the play of dark-gray veins the unrepeatability of each quarry block. The table feet are made of cast aluminum, with powder coating and fine embossed finish. These aluminum castings, which are 100 %, show Poltrona Frau’s ability to craft to the best of its ability any material that makes up its furniture, with the goal of maximum lightness and balanced proportions of each element.
“Souvenir d’Italie,” explain Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, “is a collection that picks up on one of the themes we love most in outdoor (design), that of straps, cast elements and, in general, levity. The straps become structural elements that allow lightness and transparency, extending to the backrest as well; in contrast, the metal structure becomes the decoration of the object, characterizing it. Thinking of large open benches, we resolved the armrest as a single roller cushion.
The textile part of the sofa is equally important and, while strongly declaring its outdoor vocation, it relates in feel and quality to the indoor world. The attention to detail, the making of the metal castings and the proportions, which are important, make the collection unique and distinctive.”
Leplì Outdoor Poltrona Frau
A delightful collection consisting of pouf, stool and bench for indoor use, Leplì is a passe-partout series with a strong identity. With Poltrona Frau, Kensaku Oshiro creates its outdoor version by combining the forms that have made it so distinctive with the unique woven motif that characterizes the Sparkler lamp collection, also designed by Oshiro and awarded the Wallpaper* Design Award for “Best Outdoor living” in 2022.
Leplì Outdoor is a collection of three occasional, easy-to-move seats that enrich the eternal environment with sculptural accents; all-around volumes of iconic design, capable of harmonizing versatilely with the most diverse outdoor spaces.
The collection retains the organic forms of the indoor version and sartorial suggestions from women’s fashion, clearly recognizable in the circular stool, tightened by a thin belt to emphasize the waist, which here becomes a flat braid, made with outdoor yarns. The sinuous profile of the seats is further emphasized by the polypropylene rope upholstery, taken from the Sparkler series and hand woven onto the aluminum frame.
As in the lamps, the weave made in a gradient pattern gives the form transparency, lightness and ever-changing chiaroscuro effects. Moving upward, the openings in the weave become denser and denser until they compact on the seating surface, creating a unified surface that conceals the spring system in elastic straps inside, revealing an unexpected and pleasing comfort.
This intricate handwork, which returns the same softness and plasticity as the indoor version, is paradigmatic of Poltrona Frau’s Leathership®, or the ability to work different materials with the same accuracy and skill as leather, emphasizing each one’s uniqueness and expressive beauty.
The polypropylene ropes are available in three color variants (Taupe, Écru and Rust), while the aluminum rod support structure is painted in Chalk and Basalt shades. The color palette is designed to tune Leplì Outdoor not only with the new Souvenir d’Italie collection, but also with the other collections belonging to the Boundless Living Outdoor Collections launched in 2021.
“If the Leplî indoor family,” Kensaku Oshiro points out, “draws its inspiration from the elegance of women’s fashion and the reinterpretation of Poltrona Frau’s tradition of craftsmanship, the outdoor collection comes from a different approach: starting with the material, which is durable and suitable for outdoor use. The body is obtained by weaving a polypropylene rope onto an aluminum frame, varying the density of the mesh to emphasize the sinuous curves of the silhouette. The result is lightweight seating with refined breathability, suitable for open spaces.”