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Gondola Sofa
Iconic Designs

Gondola Sofa

About the Design

One look at the furniture of Adrian Pearsall (1925–2011), and it’s easy to intuit that the American mid-century modern designer had a background in architecture. Although Pearsall did, in fact, earn a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Illinois in 1950, he would leave the architecture field just two years later to found his own furniture company. There, his celebrated work — such as the mid-1950s Gondola sofa — continued to retain a daring structural sensibility that nodded to his early career path.

For his most famous chairs, sofas and coffee tables, Pearsall devised cantilevered frames that mirror the imposing structural beams and silhouettes of skyscrapers. The Gondola sofa is no exception; its form has a decidedly architectural quality and also references Pearsall’s lifelong love of boats. Set on two angled front legs connected to a base band of walnut, the frame has a skeletal feel. But the slanted arms and trapezoidal back — a shape that recalls the flat-bottomed boats of Venice — embrace the sitter, providing a comfortable and even enveloping seat.

Like much of Pearsall’s most famous mid-century modern furniture, the Gondola was produced through Craft Associates, the furniture company he founded in 1952 with the help of his wife, Dorie, and brother, Richard. Early days saw Pearsall crafting furniture in the basement of his Pennsylvania home and selling it out of the back of a truck, but after the introduction of a few knockout pieces — among them the Cloud sofa and the Gondola — Craft Associates grew to be one of Wilkes-Barre’s largest employers and sold furniture to the likes of Macy’s and Wanamaker’s. The designer, who died in 2011, was nominated for inclusion into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2008.

Pearsall’s architecture-influenced style made him one of the early figures of Atomic Age design, the Cold War–era aesthetic defined by then-futuristic shapes and geometric patterns based on nuclear particles. The Gondola, with its skeletal base and geometric seat, fits into this camp but also caters to the comfort-centric ethos of the type of modernism emerging in Scandinavia at the time. Elements like the walnut frame and plush seat would become indicative of the Craft Associates style. Later, Pearsall would lean more into this aesthetic when he launched the aptly named Comfort Designs with partner John Graham in the early 1970s.

Although both Craft Associates and Comfort Designs no longer exist, Pearsall’s family continues to license certain designs of his to Restoration Hardware, but many early treasures, the Gondola sofa included, are long out of production.

Gondola Sofa

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Adrian Pearsall 'Platform Gondola' Sofa in Walnut and Red Upholstery
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in Waalwijk, NL
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Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Expertly Restored Adrian Pearsall Armless Gondola Sofa for Craft Associates
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Bouclé, Cotton, Foam, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates Mid Century Walnut Gondola Sofa
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Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates Mid Century Walnut Gondola Sofa This sofa measures: 102 wide x 33 deep x 28.5 inches high, with a seat height of 17 and arm height of 20.5 inche...
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Upholstery, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall Gondola Sofa Mid-Century Modern
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Fabric, Foam, Walnut

Vintage Walnut "Gondola" Sofa by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Wonderful vintage walnut “Gondola” sofa designed by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates in United States, circa 1960s. This modernist sofa, also known as model-2000, is composed of ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall Gondola Sofa, Adrian Pearsall
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in Raleigh, NC
A stunning gondola form sofa from Adrian Pearsall, Craft Associates. Newly upholstered in an ivory velvet with restored walnut base. A striking form and sculptural silhouette to th...
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Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Sofas

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Floating Back Sofa by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates
By Adrian Pearsall, Craft Associates
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A wonderfully long, low and deep upholstered sofa having a floating back and an organic sculptural walnut sled base with a floating frontal stretcher. Reupholstery is recommended.
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Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall 2000-S Gondola Sofa
By Adrian Pearsall, Craft Associates
Located in Hanover, MA
SATURDAY SALE Original Adrian Pearsall gondola sofa by Craft Associates model 2000-S with walnut trim and tapered conical legs. Ready for you to reupholster. It is 29" high. The ar...
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Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

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Mid Century Velvet Gondola Sofa By Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates, c1960s
By Adrian Pearsall, Craft Associates
Located in Chino Hills, CA
Immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of Mid-Century Modern design with this stunning vintage Gondola Sofa designed by the iconic Adrian Pears...
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Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

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Velvet, Wood, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates Gondola Sofa
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in Middlesex, NJ
Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates Gondola sofa.
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20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall 'Gondola Sofa' in Brown Fabric for Craft Associates, USA, 1950s
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in Berlin, DE
Iconic sofa model 2408 / 'Gondola' sofa by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates, 1950s. One of the sofa's distinctive features is its beautiful open structure with a partly open back...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Sofa by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in San Francisco, CA
An iron-framed gondola sofa designed by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates. Fully restored. The frame is newly powder coated in black. ...
Category

Vintage 1950s American Modern Sofas

Materials

Iron

Adrian Pearsall Gondola Green Print Sofa
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in New York, NY
Model 2408-S, or the Gondola sofa, for Craft Associates. Original mid-century printed green velvet wool. Walnut base. One main settee cushion with t...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Original Adrian Pearsall Mid-Century Gondola Sofa Upholstered in Italian Leather
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in Saint Louis, US
This lengthy low sitting Gondola sofa is a treasure in any space. The temptation to sprawl oneself about the length of the sofa is all to strong as it offers a very unique style and ...
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Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

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Adrian Pearsall Mid Century Walnut Gondola Sofa
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in Countryside, IL
Adrian Pearsall Mid Century Walnut Gondola Sofa The sofa measures: 103 wide x 33 deep x 27 high, with a seat height of 16 inches ...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

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Upholstery, Walnut

14 Foot Long Adrian Pearsall 2834-S Sofa for Craft Associates
By Adrian Pearsall, Craft Associates
Located in Hanover, MA
Extraordinary one of a kind 1960 vintage custom order extra long floating cloud gondola sofa on sculpted ebonized walnut sled base designed by Adrian Pearsall and manufactured by Cra...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Naugahyde, Walnut

Mid-Century Modern Adrian Pearsall 2408 Platform Sofa Fully Restored
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in San Marcos, CA
This is a beautiful and authentic Adrian Pearsall 2408 sofa circa 1960’s. It has been fully restored with all new foam, straps and fabric. All the walnut...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Midcentury Adrian Pearsall for Craft Gondola Sofa
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Large Mid-Century Modern gondola sofa attributed to Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates. Features an angular case with distinctive canted arms at each end, and a low sleek profile. ...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall Floating Back Sofa
By Adrian Pearsall
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Beautiful long, low, and deep, brown leather floating back sofa by Adrian Pearsall. This sofa has been newly reupholstered in high quality soft brow...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall Sculptural Walnut Gondola Sofa, Fully Restored Midcentury
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Outstanding Adrian Pearsall fully restored gondola sofa. This piece has been totally overhauled and reupholstered in vintage lime green wool. The back cushions are also redone in ori...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Walnut

Adrian Pearsall Green Gondola Sofa for Craft Associates, USA, 1960s
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in Berlin, DE
Adrian Pearsall 'Gondola" Sofa for Craft Associates. The Gondola sofa stands out due to its innovative design and unique shape including the sculpted wooden legs and frame. We offer ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Rare Adrian Pearsall Platform Gondola Sofa & End Tables Model 2905
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in Las Vegas, NV
This very rare platform gondola sofa by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates (model 2905) features a gently curved seat that rests on a platform ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates Gondola Sofa on Boomerang Legs, 1960s
By Craft Associates, Adrian Pearsall
Located in South Bend, IN
An exceptional Mid-Century Modern gondola sofa designed by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates. The sofa features a solid walnut frame and legs, and it has been recently reupholster...
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Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Sofas

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