Cognac Leather “Soriana” Chaise Longue by Afra & Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, 1969, Set of 2

Afra & Tobia Scarpa “Soriana” chaise longue, leather and metal, Italy, 1969.

Soriana lounge chair is low and soft and invites the sitter to sink in.  Its peculiar feature is the external chromed steel cage. It gives a shape to the otherwise unformed design.

The padding of Soriana is made of polyurethane foam and Dacron fiberfill, upholstered with wool or leather and enveloped by a clamp made of chromed steel. Two parts compose the external cage. Two steel plates link them with the basis. Then, two covered buttons on the sides of the backrest link the coating with the external support elements. Furthermore, two covered buttons placed on the front of the backrest tighten the upholstery to improve the shape. This is possible since a wire links them with two plastic supports embedded in the back of the clamp. In the same way, there are four covered buttons on the seat linked with the basis. The basis is made of black lacquered beech. Close to the front of the basis, there is the Cassina paper mark.

Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed Soriana in 1969 for the Italian company Figli di Amedeo Cassina, after the great success of 924 lounge chair, 121 chairs, and Ciprea armchair.

In that years, the great innovations in the molding techniques of polyurethane foam introduced new ways of thinking about sofas.

So, the idea that led to Soriana was to wrap a bunch of wool with a cloth to create a big bundle, giving it support and a shape (formless) with an external steel clamp grabbing it. The basis is a tiny wooden slab.

At first, Afra and Tobia Scarpa designed a lounge chair.

Afterward, they extended the project to a whole range of seating units.

Literature: Gramigna, Giuliana. Repertorio del Design Italiano 1950-2000 per L’Arredamento Domestico. Allemandi: Torino, 2003, p. 174.

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