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Cassina Mahogany Coffee Table by Afra & Tobia Scarpa

$1,450

About

Elegant mahogany coffee table with smoked glass top designed by Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina. Chic, distinctive, and cool, the work of husband-and-wife-team Tobia and Afra Scarpa has found a new generation of sophisticated admirers in the 21st century. Their designs exhibit a decidedly modernist aesthetic, prioritizing pared-back elegance and comfort. At the same time, the Scarpas are admired for the ease with which their designs complement both classical and cutting-edge interiors. Born in Venice in 1935, Tobia Scarpa is the son of famed architect-designer Carlo Scarpa. Alongside his wife Afra (née Bianchin, born in Montebelluna in 1937), he began working with Venini glassworks in Murano in the 1950s. In 1960, the couple established their design office in Montebelluna. Together, they created works for companies such as Flos, Cassina, B&B Italia, and Knoll. They embraced a variety of materials and expanding technologies across a wide range of designs, from glass, furniture, and lighting to interiors and architecture. During the 1960s, the pair began an ongoing relationship with the Benetton clothing company, which led to a number of different projects, including the first Benetton textile factory in Treviso (1964), as well as interiors for the company’s Paris and Freiburg offices (1980) and New York office (1986). In 1969, both Tobia and Afra Scarpa graduated from the Venice Institute of Architecture, with the former winning a Compasso d’Oro prize the following year for the Soriana Armchair for Cassina. Other notable projects include the iconic 1960 Bastiano collection for Gavina, consisting of a sofa, lounge chair, and tables—later reissued by Knoll; the 1966 Coronado Armchair series for B&B Italia, a collection of polyurethane-padded furniture created using the then-new, cold-moulded5 foaming process; and the 1973 Papillion Lamp for Flos, one of the first lighting designs to use halogen technology. The pair’s work has been included in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions and honoured with many awards, including 1992 iF Design Award.

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    Ships From: Dronten, Netherlands
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About the Designer

Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Widely recognized as superstars of postmodern Italian design, husband-and-wife team Afra and Tobia Scarpa (1937–2011; b. 1935) collaboratively created chairs, sofas and other furniture that work equally well in both traditional and cutting-edge environments.

Ranging from architecture and interior design to furniture and clothing, the Scarpas’ practice from its beginnings in the mid-1950s to the 21st century has included a diverse scope of projects combining new technology with thoughtful function and sculptural yet simple forms.

Afra Bianchin and Tobia Scarpa met as architecture students at the Università Iuav di Venezia. In a class led by architect and furniture designer Franco Albini, they created their first collaborative piece, the Pigreco armchair, later produced with Gavina. After graduating in 1957, Tobia worked for Murano glass company Venini & Co. before the couple opened a studio in Afra’s hometown, Montebelluna, in 1960. (Tobia, the son of famed glass artist and architect Carlo Scarpa, was born in Venice.)

For Afra and Tobia, a close collaborative process was pivotal to the success of their designs. The duo was also prolific — they designed for the most influential European manufacturers, including B&B Italia, Cassina, Knoll and FLOS. With respect to the latter, Afra and Tobia were among the legendary Italian lighting maker’s earliest collaborators, and their pioneering designs for the brand included the Papillon lamp, one of the first fixtures to use halogen technology. Their most recognized designs include the Bastiano sofa (1962), the Vanessa bed (1959), the Coronado sofa (1966) and the Soriana seating collection (1970). Work on the Soriana sofa began in late 1969 for an early 1970 debut, and it feels as radical today as it did in its heyday.

Architecture was also a central part of Afra and Tobia’s practice, which spanned residential buildings and factories for Italian companies such as Benetton. Their commissions for the global fashion brand included numerous industrial projects, from textile plants to storefronts. By 1985, Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s work was celebrated in a 30-year retrospective at Center Four in Queens, New York. Looking around the 30,000-square-foot exhibition space, Afra joked to the New York Times, “Seeing all those things makes us feel very tired, and now we feel that maybe we worked too much.”

It was not too much for their legacy, as Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s work continues to inspire new generations. Scarpa designs are in collections at the Louvre, the Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The couple was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1970 for the Soriana armchair.

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About the Seller
4.9
Located in Dronten, Netherlands
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