In 1963, Afra and Tobia Scarpa started their collaboration with the Italian manufacturer Figli di Amedeo Cassina, designing an iconic series in which we can find the model 121 chair.
It was a homogenous series with an extremely simple line. It featured an armchair, a lounge chair, a dining chair, tables, and a sofa.
In these pieces, we can find the modular solutions that Afra and Tobia Scarpa already used in other furnishings like the Bastiano sofa for Gavina and the Coronado sofa for C&B Italia.
In 1969, their collaboration with Cassina reached its peak with Soriana lounge chair.
Model 917 Armchair
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the 917 armchair in 1963. It was the first piece of this series that Cassina produced. Its standout feature is its very thin padding and the “anatomical” shape of its backrest.
The elements of the armchair were all independently produced and then assembled with screws. The frames are made of solid wood, the seat and the backrest in bent plywood. Moreover, they feature thin polyurethane foam padding and synthetic wool upholstery.
Model 920 Sofa
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the modular sofa 920 in 1964. It is a sofa composed of independent elements screwed together. It features polyurethane foam and dacron padding. Moreover, it was available without armrests, with one armrest or with two. Furthermore, it features three different seat sizes (22 in, 27.5 in, or 33 in). So, it is possible to assemble it in different ways, suitable for different living rooms. Moreover, they were available with a walnut, rosewood, or elmwood structure. The upholstery was available in fabric or leather.
Model 771 Coffee Table
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the 771 coffee table in 1964. Its basis is made of four solid wood trestles screwed together. So, they support the top (simply placed). Cassina produced them in three different sizes (squared high and low and rectangular low). They complete the 920 modular sofa in the corner arrangements too. The two different heights match the two different versions of the armrest of the couch.
Model 778 Dining Table
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the 778 extensible table in 1965. Its structure is made of four wooden frames (with two different heights) screwed together. The foldable double top is inserted at the same height of the two higher frames. Making it sliding through the rails inside the lower frames, the top lifts and opens like a book. Then, it is placed over the higher frames. It features great expandability since the squared one (51.2 in x 51.2 in) raises from eight to twelve sitting places and the rectangular one (51.2 in x 29.5 in) from six to ten.
Model 121 Dining Chair
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the 121 chair in 1965.
A sketch from 1943 made by Carlo Scarpa (Tobia’s father) inspired its shape. Two thin plywood “petals” compose the seat and the backrest. They are available with leather upholstery or aniline-dyed.
The back has cut in the lower part, required due to a reinforcement that reacts to torsion stress, which is strongest at this point. Furthermore, the basis is a solid wood double trestle. Eight screws link it to the seat and the backrest. It was available in ash wood or walnut. Model 121 was studied as a dining chair matching the 778 extensible table.
Moreover, the model 121 chair is part of the permanent collection at the Triennale Museum in Milan.
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the 777 extractable coffee tables in 1965. They are three coffee tables of different sizes. Furthermore, they fit one inside the other. Two solid wood trestles that keep embedded the top compose these tables. Thanks to their structure, they can slide one inside the other in two different ways.
Model 925 Lounge Chair
Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed the 925 lounge chair in 1966. As it is possible to see in the 121 chair, the contrast between the heavy solid wood trestle and the light plywood seat and backrest is clear.
Furthermore, the chairs, having no lateral relief fit well together, side by side, almost creating light long benches.
The 925 lounge chair is part of the permanent collection at the museum of modern art in New York.