Interior design in the 70s was all about color, prints, and macramé. This was the era of contrasts, at least in society’s life. People were coming off an economic crisis and a recession, and they were looking for a way out. Some found it in a decadent and austere style, while others found it in the hippie and disco culture. Others created the Bonanza lounge.
Experts and home decor lovers remember the decade as an era of playfulness and cheesiness, even in furniture. The experts of the future often described it as “tasteless.” The interior design of the Seventies featured kitschy carpets, wicker furniture, and psychedelic patterns. But Afra and Tobia Scarpa didn’t fit with the crowd.
The Bonanza Lounge Series
Forget bold shades and tropical, bright designs. These lounge chairs and sofas almost look minimalists, with simple lines and a simple, single-color covering. The decor is stripped down to the bare minimum to create a piece of furniture that clashes with the style of the 70s.
The two designers produced this series for the company C&B Italia, which later would become B&B Italia. Specifically, these pieces were part of the B&B Italia Lounge collection. The company was famous for collaborating with essential names of the design world, including Afra and Tobia Scarpa. For them, the creative duo designed the Bonanza lounge series.
Bonanza lounge series was the second project by them for the Italian brand, after the Coronado system. Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed it in the same period as their best-known sofa: the Soriana.
Both the chairs and the sofa feature the technology of polyurethane foam. First introduced in the market in 1937 by German professor Otto Bayer, this material is highly supportive, durable, and flexible. Forty years after its invention, polyurethane foam became essential to the Bonanza lounge series by B&B Italia lounge. Inside, the space is hollow except for the place where the foam is. This ensures the elasticity of the sofa’s upholstery.
Removing the Superfluous
The minimalist approach isn’t only in the upholstery. In fact, the chairs and sofa are wrapped into a sheet of Dacron, a material used in quality design to soften the edges of the furniture. The Dacron adds a spongy layer between the foam and the fabric of the sofa itself. This way, the chairs and sofas last longer, and the material doesn’t stretch easily.
So, what’s the fabric of the B&B Italia lounge collection? Afra and Tobia Scarpa added leather (and sometimes cloth) as a covering. Simple yet elegant, the Bonanza lounge series fits with every style. Especially with a minimalist one.
This series is about removing the superfluous from interior design. The internal surface comes out from the stamp, ready and finished. This structure features a leather surface with a base of polyurethane. The leather also features an iron profile that attaches to the covering. Then, the cushions and backrest are assembled with simple buttons. This series is comfortable and formal, elegant and simple.
Every element of the Bonanza lounge series has a function, a reason to be. The designers Afra and Tobia Scarpa created this collection against the decor’s rules of the 70s. They wanted to produce something different for B&B Italia, and they managed to do it with neutral colors and sophisticated materials.
After all, both the designers and the Italian decor company were innovative. So much so that B&B won the Golden Compass, an award for Italian industrial design. While the Bonanza lounge series itself didn’t win, the company succeeded in 1989 thanks to its “constant work of integration to combine the values of scientific and technological research with the functionality and expressiveness of its products.”
There is nothing more functional and expressive than the furniture made by Afra and Tobia Scarpa. Born as Italian modern style, these chairs and sofas are now vintage pieces, examples of elegant yet simple mid-century design.