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Undecided Collection: creative dynamism and refined sensuality.

More and more “indecided” and increasingly fascinating, Manerba‘s Undecided Sofa expands and becomes Undecided Collection. The seating solution designed by Raffaella Mangiarotti and Ilkka Suppanen, includes armchairs, chaise longs and sofas, available in different heigh of backrest and also made with sound absorbing upholstery and coatings to improve privacy.

The mood of Fioraio Bianchi Caffè in Milan (a former flower shop transformed in a romantic  bistrot) was the perfect setting for the presentation of the new seating collection to enhance its sensuality and dynamic creativity and to inspire fascinating environments.

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Undecided Collection is the perfect seating solution for hybrid, contemporary and creative workplaces that respect your privacy.
It is characterized by an adjustable in height backrest, like a “personal colored patchwork”.

Thanks to its high performances and marked chromatism, it defines a new and adaptable landscape that fits to different situations as at work as at home.

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Olof Palme Convention Centre in Managua.

The impressive upgrading project of the multi-purpose centre Olof Palme is signed by the Italian architect Bruno Belluomini and has involved some major Italian companies, such as Ares Line, manufacturer of hotel, offices and training halls supplies, that also furnished 1200 armchairs for the glamorous Plenary Chamber.

The Convention Centre was carried out at the end of the ‘80s with a financial contribution from Sweden and devoted to the past First Minister Olof Palme, killed in 1986. Nowadays it is even the most important Congress Center in Nicaragua.
After being neglected, largely due to the big heartquake in 1972, it was in a dilapidated state.
In 2011 architect Belluomini was entrusted by Nicaragùense de Securitad Social Institute, owner of the whole area, with the renovation of the existing building and the carrying out of new ones: a 3 stars hotel with fitness centre and swimming pool, a multipurpose hall and commercial spaces to liven up the area outside the convention facilities, too.

The project, that lasted five years, was recently ended; it did not just restore the centre to its original magnificence but also added new features and re-established a link between this area and the urban pattern.
The six buildings are conceived as six independent organisms – in architecture and management, too- different in age, dimensions and shapes but linked by a modular constructive system and by the simple and rationalist style.
As far as the Plenary Chamber named “Plenario” is concerned, the only change was the reconstruction of the arch portal for the static consolidation.
Inside, the elegant Sweden interior design of the plenary chamber remained unchanged, except for the new false ceilings with integrated lamps and the new wooden floor.
Thanks to the new distribution now there are 1200 seats -instead 800.
Papillon armchairs by Ares Line were chosen, with red leather upholstery and supplied with drop-leaf tablet and multifunctional console, to guarantee optimum use, easy to fold away on special caddies, store and compact, to allow a flexible use of the multi-purpose room.
At the wall, a copy of Guernica by Pablo Picasso, with its destroyed town, pays homage to the memory of these places.



Thonet Pop-Up Cafe: new temporary showroom concept.

The Thonet Pop-Up Café has been recently opened in the center of Vienna; for one year, it will be the must-see for Design lovers and Vienna Culture lovers. It is the perfect place to celebrate the coffee house culture and, thanks to the wi-fi, to accommodate smart workers who like a comfortable workplace in a unique atmosphere… like the Central European writers did, a century ago, with pen and notebook.

The Thonet Pop-up Café brings new life to the Alte Post – a building complex comprising almost 35,000 m2 in the heart of Vienna, that after the summer of next year, will be converted into a special real estate project with high-end flats, hotel, green atriums, galleries and businesses.
This innovative temporary showroom-cafè concept (250 sqm) offers the opportunity to enjoy the refined Jonas Reindl selected coffee creations from all continents, in a location that reflects the history of the well renowned Austrian brand; an unusual tribute to Viennese coffee house culture and a perfect set to show some of the masterpieces of furnishing design, living, lounge and office furniture: chairs, sofas and armchairs as well as tables, bar furniture and desks. From the bentwood classics including the famous Vienna Coffee House Chair 214 designed by Michael Thonet, the popular wing chair 808, the lounge classic S 35 by Marcel Breuer from the Bauhaus era, to the modern pieces of furniture by James Irvine.

An inspiring and out of time locations that does not neglect the new lifestyles; thanks to the wi-fi connection, smart working and job meeting are also possible.
The showroom-café project was conceived and realised in cooperation with Jonas Reindl Coffee and Standart Mag, the quarterly magazine for beauty and the specialty of coffee.
Thonet is supported with the furnishings by the following partners: USM, Porzellanmanufaktur Augarten, Vorwerk Flooring, Carpet Sign and Cooper Colours.



The top 10 chairs for public spaces.

In furniture design, chairs -armchairs, stools and seating systems- are absolutely the most productive sector. It’s confirmed by the number of new products generated by the designers’ prolific minds presented at Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone 2016. Yet, there are limits! Just very few of them are really novel and excelling chairs.

Is it really a necessity to design hundreds of new chairs every year, considered that some icons are still being manufactured and sold, for the benefit of some leading companies and designers?
Two great masters have already answered this question: over 20 years ago Bruno Munari stated that  “there are more chairs than butts” and Ettore Sottsass added, quoting him, “we should design new butts rather than more chairs“.
That’s gospel truth, but the élan créatif never stops and the Milano Design Week 2016 has also given us an incredible amount of chairs of all kinds, shapes and sizes, the general standard is good but I honestly find it hard to determine which one will become an icon-chair or a masterpiece for the future.

It was interesting in this regard the exhibition Icons Reloaded by GTV-Gebrüder Thonet Vienna dedicated to its historical pieces and indicating which of these are still in production.
Obviously, Nendo’s 50 Manga Chairs are not in the list. Not chairs, but speaking objects and ironic artworks. Yet the only ones really generating emotion. (both the exhibitions at the of kiosk of Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale).

Here are the top 10 chairs for public spaces, according to WOW!

Twig, Alias, design by Nendo.
The concept is a seat with an aluminium base that change material and become wood, in an organic connection with the armrests, also made of wood. The collection consists of four versions, each with its own identity, made up of different elements which are then paired with the base made of aluminium.


Sag, MDF, design by Nendo.
This stool -or coffee table?- has been designed as a whole piece folded on itself and melted in three directions into a single shape. Its concave arc structure, thus generated, gives it an elastic image. It is made in stiff polyurethane, called TECH, highly shock-resistant, scratch-resistant and resistant to ageing for indoor or outdoor use.


AÏku, MDF, design by Jean Marie Massaud.
A light, elegant and radical collection of highly comfortable chairs; an essential image available in six versions of bases and a wide range of finishes.
Shell made from two-colour polypropylene through injection-moulding, mass pigmented with double finish; gloss outside, in black and white colours, inside with matt saffiano effect in different colours.


Organic chair, Kartell, design by Antonio Citterio.
This eco-sustainable chair is the first in the world made from BioduraTM, a material obtained from renewable raw materials (renewable plant-based sources). Through a biological process, microorganisms “attack” waste material to create biomass that is similar to a very high-quality plastic. Organic Chair is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use as it is extremely durable, which also makes it perfect for the contract market.


Dream’air, Kartell, design by Eugeni Quitllet.
The final version of an innovative seating concept in terms of form. The chair is made in a single mould with a seat that seems to levitate in the centre.


Helix, B-Line, design by Favaretto&Partners.
A light and dynamic chair to admire, following the spiral of its long back “legs”, whose various cross-sections recall the elegant screw shape of a propeller. The version with the backrest featuring a corset of elasticised cord transforms it into a distinctive graphic mark.


Bolle, Fattore, design by Enzo Berti.
It is a system of poufs and tables with pure and contemporary lines. Made of Murano blown glass, through the transparent material, they evoke a clear feeling of lightness. The pure volumes of the elements create, with the alternation of concave and convex forms, a dynamic and colorful landscape of objects. Each element can be characterized by upholstered seat in colorful fabric and wooden top.


Happy Endings, Magis, design by Jerszy Seymour.
The real name of this collection of high stools and tables is ‘Bureau for the Study of Vivid Blue Every-Colour Inhabitations of the Planet, the Transformation of Reality, and a Multitude of Happy Endings’ they form a part of the conceptual art work ‘New Dirty Enterprises’ by Jerszy Seymour, first presented at the ABC Art Fair in Berlin in 2013. The collection is made from fully-recyclable standard welded aluminium sections with a hand splatter-painted mediatic surface . They can be configured to create many different working or socialising situations.


Dome, Pedrali, design by Odo Fioravanti.
It is a collection of stackable chairs inspired by the glorious tradition of the bistrot chairs with curved silhouettes and generous shapes. The details of the injected polypropylene remember the joints of the solid wood. The version with perforated shell features a texture recalling the industrial metal plates.


Vic, Pedrali, design by Patrick Norguet.
This collection of upholstered armchairs is a review of classic comfortable shapes. The back lifts up from the seat while remaining tied only at the ends. The resulting opening provides the armchair with lightness and eases its handling. The legs in solid ash wood are perfectly jointed thanks to a carter under the seat.


A former theatre becomes a workplace: Clubhouse Brera.

At the most exclusive Clubhouse Brera, former Teatro delle Erbe, you can work, meet and organize cultural events downtown Milan. An innovative concept, a sophisticated “Italian Style”ambience launched by Copernico. The “workspace” combined with a contemporary mood and Art Deco references marks the interior design by architect Laura Stecich.

“Clubhouse Brera suits the ongoing change in the labour market and the way business is done, over a coffee or a drink or while having a quick bite- said Pietro Martani, AD of Copernico “Where Things Happen”- we wanted this place to be special, a source of inspiration and perfect for those we want a refined environment”.

That’s the membership club (the first in Italy open to women’s entrepreneural activities): 500 high-profile members from the Finance, Real Estate, Art and Culture, Fashion and Design communities at most.
Interior design.
More than 1000 sqm on two floors: the bar area is smartly furnished in subdued colours suffused with light; furnished with a large communal table and small coffee tables with sofas and armchairs. The Art Deco counter calls to mind an open curtain and other “stage references” characterizes the interior design and the furniture “site specific” designed by Laura Stecich.

A small, glazed garden surrounds the second area, brighter and with a multi functional platform – the stage of the theatre- that can be subdivided into several meeting rooms by closing the red curtains.
Here you can work on a shelf facing the garden, on meeting tables, in the glazed phone booths. A hushed atmosphere is assured by the acoustic design and soundproofing materials.

Overlooking the garden, the upper floor features meeting rooms closed by glass partition walls (by Universal Selecta) and three office suites with cubicle and bathroom for managers wishing to relax after a journey.

Photos by Andrea Menin (1/2; 5/8; 13/16).



Quinze & Milan/Ares: play and colour are spreading all over the office.

On the occasion of the Milano Design Week, a lively, informal party to celebrate (with excellent Belgian beer flowing) the cooperation between Ares Line and the cult brand of design founded in 1999 by the belgian artists Arne Quinze and Yves Milan.

During Fuorisalone the most iconic furniture units by Quinze & Milan that are going to be distributed by Ares Lines enlivened the showroomin Milan: the pouf reproducing the soap box Brillo – legendary Pop-Art works by Andy Warhol- and the numberless, soft and lively geometries (resistant, washable and customizable with corporate logos and graphics) for sofa, armchairs and seatings.

It isn’t just a trade agreement, but an example of clever synergy to meet the ever-growing request for complete supplies coming from the market: the office chair is no longer the over-equipped task chair; more and more often the common and working rooms provide for areas to stimulate creativitiy and informal behaviour. In one’s place of work, they feel like playing.





Milano Design Week 2014: sofa/armchairs.

Almost all the new couches and armchairs presented at Milano Design Week 2014 are designed for the contract industry, allowing more business possibilities than the home sector.

Two chief trends for the lounge chair suitable for all kinds of common space: on the one hand, modular systems to be extended and fitted, increasingly functional, on the other hand sculptural one-offs, that destructure the classic seat/back/arm model and produce pleasant surprises by matching different materials and drawing inspiration from nature or some iconic objects of our everyday life.
A couch can also change into a tool, to start experimental projects and some really innovative ways of working, like crowdcrafting #Sofa4Manhattan twin international event (Milano /New York) designed and made in team.

1,Passoni Nature, Botan (Japanese for peony)is a surprising new sofa designed by Benedetta Tagliabue; seats and poufs like petals to placed in many different ways.
2, Arper, seating modular system Zinta, design by Lievore Altherr Molina.
3, Berto, sperimental crowdcrafting project #Sofa4Manhattan ( Milan/NewYork) conceived by Design-Apart and Filippo Berto; designed by Lera Moiseeva and Joe Graceffa coordinated by Luca Nichetto.
4, Coquille di Markus Johansson Design, will be presented at Salone Satellite. A shell-like form with strong lines, a sofa with a marine character.