This beautiful leather armchair called “Juliet” was created by London based industrial designer Benjamin Hubert for Italian brand Poltrona Frau. Juliet was inspired by sleeves with puffed shoulders on Italian Renaissance clothing.The Juliet chair features leather stretched over the base to expose the wooden frame underneath, while the seat is covered in squashy leather pleated in a triangular pattern.
This inspiration was used to communicate the properties of leather upholstery. The outside of the chair utilises the flexibility and tensile strength of leather to describe a fluted traditional timber frame work where the shape of the timber can clearly be seen through the tight leather covering. This is contrasted by a ‘tri-pleated’ generous sitting area with a soft and loose appearance. This deconstructed area is used to describe the comfort of the chair. The shape of the sitting area is ‘wide screen’ to allow the user to sit in multiple positions in line with how people really use and miss-use furniture.
Benjamin Hubert has won the international competition to find Poltrona Frau’s Centenary armchair. The armchair for the 100 year old company enters into its iconic limited edition collection to represent its history and future.
The brief of the competition was to utilise the traditional upholstery techniques under the theme ‘a chair to spend time in’ and judged under the categories of; formal appearance, representation of the given theme, use and interpretation of leather and comfort.
Juliet, the chair awarded winner of the competition, is inspired by the Italian renaissance fashion detail the ‘Juliet sleeve’ a sleeve which tightly fits the arm and has a large de constructed ‘puff’ on the shoulder. This inspiration was used to communicate the properties of leather upholstery.
The 12 invited designers included: Benjamin Hubert, Nendo, Stephen Burks, Nina Zupanc, Constance Guisset, Daphna Laurens, Adam goodrum
Benjamin Hubert, class of 1984, British, the enfant prodige of international design has created Juliet. The armchair that symbolises Poltrona Frau’s one hundred year anniversary, winner of the design contest held by the company to celebrate this important event between twelve talented designers from all over the world. With an invitation and a challenge: to project the brand values into the future, and to do so now. The idea is inspired by fashion and takes a particular detail, the puff sleeve, to give rise to a new concept of armchair, with a strong design.
Juliet. Traditional wooden frame which, narrower at the base, widens in a “puff” at the seat. Here, the rich upholstery re-invents the classic capitonné in a contemporary, soft, free version, enriched by original crimp stitching for interiors in recollection of the embroidery and ruffling of women’s sleeves and bodies, creating a faceted pattern that ripples the surfaces. With a complex creation that expresses all the mastery of the Poltrona Frau craftsmen.
Great comfort is assured that is first of all visual. Sensations of relaxation and true abandonment, given by the free play of folds and stitching.
The structure is created from solid beech and birch plywood. Seat suspension is provided by elastic strips. The seat and backrest are padded in polyurethane foam and polyester wadding. Upholstery is in Pelle Frau® leather and in exclusive Pelle Frau® Century leather, further embellished by an innovative crimp stitching in the interior part of the seat and backrest.
Since 1912, Poltrona Frau has been at the forefront of modern design. With origins in exquisite handcrafting of furnished goods, the company is synonymous with the high quality, attention to detail, and cutting-edge aesthetic that characterizes contemporary Italian design. Beside creating furnishings like the Juliet chair that was based on its 100th birthday design competition, Poltrona Frau prides itself in many other sofas, chairs, beds and table designs that put an emphasis on the texture and shape of the end result.
Materials: wooden frame, Leather,Polyurethane foam
Materials Combination: Leather + Color, Eco / Recycled / Green
Dimensions: W1000mm x H750mm x D800mm
Colour: Mix / Multi Color
- 2012 Poltrona Frau International Competition – 100 year Poltrona Frau’s Centenary armchair – Winner
Furniture Designer: Benjamin Hubert design, Studio 106 Regent House, 1 Thane Villas, London, N7 7PH, UK
Manufacturer: Poltrona Frau
Text Description: © Courtesy of Poltrona Frau, Benjamin Hubert
Images: © Poltrona Frau, Benjamin Hubert