how to sit on a building.
when talking about design, many iconic chairs are recognizable even as a silhouette: you may think of breuer, van der rohe, le corbusier, eames, jacobsen, wegner, saarinen, panton. but it all seems to concentrate in the midcentury era – it’s not easy to redevelop something to sit on. enter mario botta, swiss-born italian-educated architect and designer (from the famous ’shogun‘ lamp for artemide to the radical ‚obliqua‘ armchairs and sofas for alias.) and for many, overall pop star of postmodern architecture.
when looking at his chair designs you can follow his thoughts step by step (he even named them chronologically). his architectural approach to construction redefines statics and stability. as an example, the design of the ’seconda‘ armchair is reduced to the essential, but visually – and by the chosen materials – completely different from a classic chair. botta put together square, circle and cylinder, made of enamelled steel tubing, flat bar and folded, perforated sheet metal, featuring two lamellar rubber foam rolls as a backrest. designed for italian furniture company ‚alias‘ in 1982 they seem to be a rationalist answer to the memphis style of the eighties. they are on permanent exposition in the museum of modern art, new york.
set of four ’seconda‘ armchairs, made by ‚alias,‘ manufacturer’s mark. all metal frames shows signs of use. good vintage condition.