Italian Modern Le Bambole Striped Daybed by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, 1976


This Le Bambole day bed was designed by Mario Bellini in 1972 and manufactured by B&B Italia in 1976. It features a tubular steel structure, polyurethane foam, and a blue and beige striped upholstery (with a particular pattern that gives it a satin effect). It is possible to reupholster it.

The design of the Bambole series is the culmination of research into stuffed furniture. The piece is reduced to an archetypical idea of a cushion. The whole concept of this cushion is taken very far, as this piece is defined by the precise geometry of stitches and covers. The entire “Bambole” collection compromised a sofa, daybed, chaise lounge, and bed. The prototypes of this collection were stuffed with a material that was the forerunner of memory foam. Later, to improve comfort, the metal frame that was inside in the beginning, and that was required for support, was removed, and it was filled with the stuffing itself. Le Bambole was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1979.

Born in Milan in 1935, Mario Bellini graduated in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic in 1959 and set up practice as an architect in the early sixties.

His work ranges from urban design and architecture to furnishing and industrial products. Renowned as a designer, in 1963, he began his relationship with Olivetti in charge of industrial design and went on to work with other companies both in Italy and abroad, amongst which Cassina. He won the Compasso d’Oro and other international awards more than once, and his work is exhibited in the MoMA collection in New York, which, in 1987, dedicated a personal retrospective exhibition to his work. Since the 1980s, he has worked mainly in the field of architecture all over the world. His most well-known work includes the Portello buildings for the Milan Fair, the conference center of Villa Erba at Como, the extension of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the International Fair of Essen. From 1986 to 1991, he was director of Domus magazine. In 1987, in continuing the work of his studio opened in the 1960s, he founded Mario Bellini Associates, of which he is the president, whose services run from master planning to architecture and the design of stands and sets for exhibitions and museums. In 1996 product and furniture design were transferred to the Bellini Atelier, which he founded with his son Claudio.

A winning duo: a mix of independence and interaction. Two generations in one family exchange integrate and confront each other. A special relationship characterized by reciprocal autonomy and by a deep understanding when working on shared projects. A constructive family bond that generates a positive drive enhancing creative energies and managerial skills.


– Morteo, Enrico. Mario Bellini. Furniture, machines and objects. London: Phaidon, 2008, p. 98 – 99.

– Graminga, Giuliana. Repertorio del Design Italiano 1950-2000 per L’Arredamento Domestico. Allemandi: Torino, 2003, p. 198.

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