Posts tagged #Soriana Tobia Scarpa

Tobia Scarpa 'Soriana' Sofa : A Love Story

If someone would ask me what I believe to be the best products from the Italian 1970s period I'd most definitely say that the Soriana Sofa has a special place in my heart. Is this related in any way to the fact that I owned this sofa for so many years (about 30 to be precise) and it saw my kids grow up and my life constantly shaping between the usual highs and lows? I have a pretty detached relationship with every piece I sell, to me it is business after all, but every time I let go of one of the Soriana sofa my heart melts with pride, nostalgic feeling and a pinch of uncertainty because I bug myself with the same question over and over again:  'is my client really aware of how much love was put into this and what fantastic piece he is buying?' Some pieces are just objects, some deserve more recognition.  My first Soriana Sofa is still there, sitting in the same living room, so when I started this business which I love so much and the chance presented to me  I could not resist. I purchased a whole set and wanted to make it shine again; I went to Italy and start interviewing different restorers. After an extensive search I partnered with an Italian restorer who had work with these iconic design pieces many times before and knew them pretty well. If only my customers would know the passion, time,love, attention my staff and myself  put into these projects! From the outsourcing of the pieces out of private Italian estates or auction houses to the final step there were  endless telephone calls, meeting, leather testing, and a lot of extra work. Before digging into the restoration process i think the Soriana Sofa deserves an introduction:  It was designed by Tobia Scarpa in 1969 and won the Compasso D'Oro award which is a very famous design award  originated in Italy in 1954 by the La Rinascente company from an original idea of Gio Ponti and Alberto Rosselli. The same year other great Italian architects were recognized for their designs such as Franco Albini and Achille Castiglioni. The idea of the Soriana was to express a design where a whole bundle of fabric was encapsulated by a metal frame. It was a revolutionary and unique design and 50 years forward it is still one of the preferred sofa for some of the biggest designer and architects own homes or customer projects. The collection at the time was made of multiple single elements: a lounge chair, medium sofa and larger version sofa,  chaise lounge with ottoman.  Today Tobia Scarpa Soriana sofa is not anymore in production and those rare pieces can be found on the second market at private estates or auction houses. Being a sofa of about 50 years of age  the condition these pieces are found in is often fair, the cushions might be deflated, the fabric worn or ripped and the metal structure can be chipped and rusty.  We love the idea of giving a new life to this iconic piece so it can be used for many more years to come. Well, after the introduction now it's time to bring you face to face with the long process of restoration! read more below!  

 

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restored Soriana sofa, design Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, 1970s, dark brown luxury leather

restored Soriana sofa, design Tobia Scarpa for Cassina, 1970s, dark brown luxury leather

 

The Restoration Phase of Tobia Scarpa Soriana Sofa 

 

You have to know this piece very well to understand that due to its exquisite design it requires a special kind of material which works well with its many different curves and folds. While it might get easier with fabric, leather is a different story. The outcome is also very different though. This sofa in the right leather is definitely a killer, a totally different luxurious effect.  We had to find a leather with the best possible "hand" one of a certain thickness but with a certain grade of softness so it can be worked out easily. We found a perfect leather from an Italian family owned tannery with perfect vintage hues of browns and black and tan colors. Every batch of this leather is one of a kind, non toxic and with a wax finish on the surface which allow to get that vintage effect with the use while keeping its strength and beauty throughout the years. 

The first step is very important : assessment. The piece is basically ripped apart so that the internal elements condition can be assessed. 

Restoration of a Soriana Lounge Chair - we basically tear it apart and check all of the foam and structure.

Restoration of a Soriana Lounge Chair - we basically tear it apart and check all of the foam and structure.

Soriana Sofa - restoration phase 1 assessment of the insides and structure #tobiascarpa #soriana

Soriana Sofa - restoration phase 1 assessment of the insides and structure #tobiascarpa #soriana

Soriana Sofa Restoration phase 3 - All the padding is in place ! wow it looks puffy again amazing

Soriana Sofa Restoration phase 3 - All the padding is in place ! wow it looks puffy again amazing

Soriana Sofa Restoration phase 4 - The Leather process a very important step!

Soriana Sofa Restoration phase 4 - The Leather process a very important step!

The leather covering

The leather covering

The leather is put in place now it's time to carefully recreating all of those lovely folds

The leather is put in place now it's time to carefully recreating all of those lovely folds

The fixing process

The fixing process

Perfection

Perfection

The naturaleness of this leather is incredible! Natural veins and signs because minimally chemically processed, the color outcome is one of a kind always, the natural signs of the leather as these veins are completely normal!

The naturaleness of this leather is incredible! Natural veins and signs because minimally chemically processed, the color outcome is one of a kind always, the natural signs of the leather as these veins are completely normal!

If customer requires, we can also offer new chrome bath for the metal structure and if required because they are too damaged the plaques are touched up.

If customer requires, we can also offer new chrome bath for the metal structure and if required because they are too damaged the plaques are touched up.

The Soriana Sofa is restored! How does it look? 

 

The job was complete ! Naturally each restoration is a story by  itself, every piece is a different story as well as the outcome, remember these sofas were made in the 70s lived for 50 years and each one of it is and will always be one of a  kind for sure ! 

Do you want to purchase this incredible piece of design? Contact our office at 212 366 1777 or by email at contact@italianmidcenturyfurniture.com and inquire about availabilities. You might get lucky !  Designitalia Mid Century Modern imports authentic Italian Mid Century Furniture directly from Italy. You will find a unique collection of Mid Century Modern Sofas, mid century lounge chairs and dining chairs, accessories and much more. 

 

Celebrities love the 70s: Italian 20th Century Design celebrities homes

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Tobia Scarpa

1970s Italian Sofa "Soriana" by Cassina

The 70s were colorful, rock and roll and big, the years of exploration and awareness as well as the fights for equality and peace. In Italy, it was the best moment for Italian Design which was started to be celebrated worldwide; think about New York, where in 1972 the Museum of Modern Art put up a full exhibition of Italian Design home products calling it the “New domestic landscape”, furniture was becoming fashionable. 

Many design pieces have better represented the spirit of that particular period and are still recognized today not only by renowned architects and designers but also by celebrities. Among such pieces, we might remember the Proust Armchair by Alessandro Mendini or Le Bambole armchairs by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia and other designs by Achille Castiglioni, Marco Zanuso, Cini Boeri and Afra & Tobia Scarpa. All of the pieces created by these Italian architects are not only telling us a story today, but they are transferring us that emotional contents which became part of our history. 

 

A beautiful design piece from the 1970s was featured in celebrity designer's Malibu home Kelly Wearstler. The Soriana sofa and armchairs by Cassina, designed in 1969 by Tobia Scarpa were graciously erecting from the huge living room area of this magnificent California mansion.  

Afra & Tobia Scarpa -  Working together since 1957 these architects' range of field spaces from buildings to interior design, from restoration of ancient palaces to industrial design projects. They designed furniture and lighting pieces for Gavina, B&B Italia, Cassina, Flos and Knoll International, and have designed factories and offices for Benetton. In 2015 Flos the Italian leading modern lighting manufacturer dedicated a full exhibition of Scarpa designs in their Milan Showroom in Corso Monforte, showcasing furniture pieces, lighting, sketches, watercolor works and much more. Immediately after graduation at the University of Venice in 1969 Tobia Scarpa won the prestigious price “Compasso d’Oro” for his Soriana armchair designed for Cassina. Since then he has been awarded many other design prices and his works can also be found in museums worldwide 

Italian Mid Century Sofas | Tobia Scarpa Sofa

 

The Sofa -  The Soriana is an iconic Italian Design Piece, great example of Italian Modernism, won the Compasso D'Oro in 1969 one of the most important design award of that time. The Soriana was manufactured by Cassina in the 1970s and the idea is that to express beauty and comfort by using  a whole bundle of fabric or leather hold by single steel clamp. The Soriana Collection is a collector piece and part of the history of Italian Design.

 

This lovely piece have found its place in one of the most acclaimed fashion and interior designer Kelly Wearstler who chose it for its Malibu Home as featured on Architectural Digest and In Style and Elle Decor Her selection of natural colors for the Soriana sofa and armchairs beautifully blends with the rest of her home design and we absolutely love the outcome. You can find the full article here 

 

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina 

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina 

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina

Advertising from the 1970s of the Soriana Sofa by Cassina