The Italian designers Afra and Tobia Scarpa collaborated with many Italian design companies during their long career. One of them was Stildomus, founded in 1956 by Aldo Bartolomeo. The two creators partnered with the top Italian companies that reflected their vision and philosophy. They were two creative and avant-garde souls that worked with an innovative business that allowed them to use the latest techniques of industrial style while respecting their values. So, the collaboration of Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stildomus resulted in unique pieces of furniture, among all of them the Torcello series.
The first production dates back to 1964, while the last Torcello collection dates back to 1980. There were many other pieces in the middle, each and every one filled with passion and attention to detail. So, this was a fruitful partnership that lasted for over two decades.
Aldo Bartolomeo was both a developer and an entrepreneur. He was a curious soul who loved good design and good people. That’s why he decided to collaborate with names such as Ico Parisi, Bruno Munari, and Pino Tovaglia. Plus, of course, Afra e Tobia Scarpa. The idea behind this company was “research.” Bartolomeo didn’t want to adhere to the standards of the time. Instead, he was looking for something new, a new perspective on Italian design with the goal of taking it international.
Stildomus pushed the latest techniques to create unique pieces of furniture and exclusive everyday objects. The research involved materials, technologies, and detailed finishes. The production was supposed to be efficient and high-quality. To Bartolomeo, those two weren’t mutually exclusive.
Stildomus collaborated with the most innovative Italian designers for decades, creating bookcases, tables, and even beds. And, the partnership of Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stildomus produced cabinets, chest of drawers, and bar tables. And these are only some of the pieces of the Torcello series.
The Torcello Collections by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stildomus
The first series launched in 1964, when the successful collaboration between the company and the designers began. This first series only featured wood cabinets made of different and intertwined panels. To solve the issues of assembly and adjusting, the panels feature the same shaped borders on all sides, a solution to the problem of joining the panels themselves. All thanks to an external bonding axis.
An aluminum section separates them, and these cabinets feature wooden feet, solid and functional. The handles are also of aluminum, creating a contrast of materials and feelings like the cold of the metal and the warmth of the wood.
One year later, Afra and Tobia Scarpa launched the second Torcello collection made of cabinets, a chest of drawers, and tables. The chest, in particular, showcases a traditional style, the secretaire, made to be functional and efficient. But nothing is too simple with the two Italian designers. In fact, the front of the first drawer rotates to create more space, and the solid wood hides many segments and corners. The two designers used the same technique for the tables, and they are made of one of their favorite materials: warm and solid wood.
In the 1976 collection, Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stilldomus added new elements. In fact, this updated version includes a bar table and an oval table with a box foot. The bar table features glossy painted panels, while the desk features the signature panels of the Torcello series. One final design touch was the circular and rotating centerpiece tray, functional and elegant.
The following Torcello collection dates back to 1977, and it went into production in 1978. The elements create the perfect bedroom with a component bookcase, shelf, and bed with nightstands. Plus, the cherry on top: wardrobes. Because there’s no room without storage space. The designers took inspiration from their own and past work, like the shelf, which is a reworking of the secretary desk of 1965. The bed, in particular, is interesting thanks to its support structure hidden in the upholstery, perfectly complemented by the nightstands.
One year later, the collaboration between Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stildomus produced the latest Torcello series, which launched to the public in 1979. It featured a desk and oval tables, which symbolize the perfect ending to the collections. There are the iconic panels of walnut, and it features a wooden roll-top and an extractable tray with compartments. The oval tables of 1980 are the last piece of the Torcello collections, functional and simple.
So, the Torcello series had it all, from tables to nightstands. The elements designed by Afra and Tobia Scarpa fit in a family’s living room as well as in an office. With these designers, there are no rules. And the Torcello collections aren’t the only creations that prove it.
Segesta Chair and Other Furnishings by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stildomus
Between 1964 and 1984, the two designers produced storage cabinets, tables, and chairs. Here’s the complete list of their pieces of design and everyday objects for the Italian design company:
- Accademia storage cabinets, 1975
- Baldacco sliding curtains, 1975
- Segesta chair, 1976
- Accademia bookcase, 1978
- Accademia bed and wardrobes, 1980-81
- Foscari cabinet system, 1982
- Serenda chair, 1982
- Serendipity system of partitions and cabinets, 1982-83
- Sarinola cabinets, 1983-84
In this list of pieces by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Stildomus, the Segesta chair is one of the most iconic ones. Made of one piece of plywood and two panels, this chair is a masterpiece of assembly. Between flat borders and rounded corners, the Segesta is an endless beauty of shapes and, best of all, functionality. But these are characteristics that unite each piece created by the two designers, produced by Stildomus and not only.
The two designers loved defying traditional design rules and combining different materials. They adopted the lines and shapes of industrial design, keeping their creations simple and complicated simultaneously, mainly since they always used the latest technology. They used wood, but they also loved creating a contrast of feelings with materials such as steel and aluminum. Their artistic minds led them to success and to winning collaborations like the one with Stildomus.