Past Meets Present | Poltrona Frau Reintroduces Two Iconic Designs

From movies to furniture we find ourselves looking back to find the most beautiful and captivating elements of our past. In this golden age of nostalgia, we think it apt to highlight two extraordinary, historically-rooted pieces from Poltrona Frau’s new Home Collection.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the 1919 armchair is reimagined in special collaboration with one of Poltrona Frau’s long-time design partners, Roberto Lazzeroni. We’re thrilled to introduce the 2019 armchair which brings the historic model back to life in a way that preserves the original spirit through a modern lens. In maintaining the chair’s rich leather upholstery, signature to Poltrona Frau, but adjusting its proportions and dimensions, Lazzeroni sought to champion comfort above all with his new interpretation. Refined yet inviting, this is the ultimate club chair.

The Turner bookcase is a piece that stands out for its originality. Modeled after Gianfranco Frattini’s 1963 original Modello 823 swivel bookcase, Turner is inspired by the classic English freestanding bookcase. With moveable dividing panels, the piece offers its user an ever-changing array of shelves and spaces. Avid readers and collectors will covet this bookcase.

Please see press releases below on both of these re-introductions:

2019 armchair

The much-anticipated return of a timeless classic. To celebrate its centenary, Poltrona Frau Style & Design Centre has collaborated with Roberto Lazzeroni to revisit its iconic 1919 chair.

From 1919 to 2019: exactly one hundred years on, a new name, new dimensions and new proportions. Everything about the historic Poltrona Frau capitonné leather model has changed and yet everything remains the same: in collaboration with Roberto Lazzeroni, Poltrona Frau has successfully reinterpreted this timeless classic while maintaining its original spirit.

It is no mean task revisiting an armchair which for a hundred years has embodied the very essence of Poltrona Frau: the 1919 was a classic from the get-go, destined to leave an indelible mark. Large, strong, padded by hand, completely upholstered in leather with complex craftsmanship that reaches its apex in the pleated swirls of the armrests and the famous capitonné motif of the backrest.

Roberto Lazzeroni approached this design icon with the utmost respect and affection. He observed it from every angle, sitting on it, touching it, getting a feel for it. And he concluded that its proportions were no longer in keeping with the modern-day notion of comfort. He has lowered the seat, increased the internal width and raised the backrest to achieve a more relaxed and informal position; he has added a footrest to create an even more accommodating bergère or lounge chair, a kind of niche or haven away from the stress of daily life. The 2019 therefore becomes a new version of the original which maintains all the features that made it famous perfectly intact. Intriguing, refined, comfortable, ready to face the next hundred years with the same elegant poise.

The supporting structure of the 2019 armchair is made from solid seasoned beech. The seat, backrest and armrest spring system consists of hand-tied steel biconical springs attached to jute belts. The seat is padded with rubberised horsehair while the backrest and armrests are in hand-shaped vegetable horsehair. The seat cushion is in goose down with a stabilising insert in polyurethane foam. The upholstery is in Pelle Frau® leather with manual capitonné detailing that decorates the front of the backrest. The reverse of the armchair backrest is embellished with a leather trim. A frame with four feet in solid ash with a Moka stain decorates the bottom of the seat. The leg system is available with metal caps with a gold or gunmetal grey finish, or with metal caps at the back and swivel castors at the front.

The 2019 armchair is also available in a version with rotating oval plate in solid ash and top in Testa di moro-coloured Saddle Extra leather, where you can put down an electronic device, a book or other small personal belongings.

Turner bookcase

An unexpected classic: Poltrona Frau presents Turner bookcase. at the Salone del Mobile. A re-edition of the historic Modello 823 swivel bookcase designed by Gianfranco Frattini.

Pupil of Gio Ponti, Gianfranco Frattini (1926-2004) was one of the pioneers of the golden era of Italian design. And at the 2019 Salone del Mobile Poltrona Frau is delighted to present Turner, a reissue of his historic Modello 823 swivel bookcase.

An unusual object that stands out for its originality and innovativeness. Inspired by the classic English freestanding bookcases, perfect for keeping your most treasured books close by at all times, the Turner bookcase is nonetheless cutting-edge in terms of its construction concept. The 3-level swivel supporting structure rises vertically like a building, each floor furnished with grooves that act as rails and enable you to add or remove a series of dividing panels to create different combinations as you desire in an ever-changing game of solids and voids.

Created by the masterful Gianfranco Frattini, architect and designer born in Padua but Milanese by adoption, Turner first saw the light in 1963 as Modello 823. After graduating from Milan Polytechnic, Frattini completed his apprenticeship under the guidance of Gio Ponti, inspired by his great design rigour and attention to new construction techniques. In the years that followed he designed numerous commercial and residential construction projects as well as many furniture products and complementary furnishings for major furniture brands of the period.

This is the second time Poltrona Frau has been associated with this legend of Italian design, demonstrating its reverence and deep philological respect for him. The first occasion was the reissue of the Albero bookcase, one of “The Top 10 Moments at Milan Design Week” according to “The New York Times”. Now it has consolidated this partnership with Turner, a 123 cm tall and 65 cm wide free-standing swivel bookcase. Turner consists of an internal supporting structure in metal enclosed in a central column made with birch plywood panels with Canaletto walnut veneer. Same materials for the intermediate shelves, furnished with solid Canaletto walnut grooves to house the dividing panels. These have solid Canaletto walnut edges to house the 21 dividing panels, 7 per level. The latter have solid Canaletto walnut edges. A kit of 3 additional panels can be purchased separately to further enrich the bookcase. The top, also in birch plywood with Canaletto walnut veneer, is crowned with a circular rotating surface made from MDF and covered with precious Pelle Frau® SC leather or Saddle Executive leather. The bookcase is completed by the Poltrona Frau logo and the signature of the architect, laser-engraved at the centre of the column under the top.