After the Gio Ponti collection, successfully re-produced since 2012, Molteni&C is re-examining its own history with an eye to the future. The 80!Molteni exhibition, the creation of the company’s historical archive and its recently inaugurated Molteni Museum have provided an opportunity for revival, from the origins of modernity. Intriguing traces have emerged from a past that turns out to be contemporary, ripe for a re-think today. Great new classics, unique pieces that can step straight out of their museum showcases and into our contemporary homes. A project that inaugurates the 2016 Salone del Mobile with four new items: a chest of drawers, a bookcase, a chair and a hanging bookcase, the initial products of a newly formed Heritage Collection.
The prototype of the first item of modern furniture ever produced by Molteni&C, the chest of drawers designed by Werner Blaser in 1955, is available again in a limited and numbered edition of 100 pieces, made of avodiré wood just like the original. Never produced on an industrial scale, it won the Cantù “Prima mostra selettiva - Concorso internazionale del mobile”, a competition designed to re-qualify the image of Italian furniture making. The jury included Gio Ponti, Alvar Aalto, Romano Barocchi, Carlo De Carli and Finn Juhl. The unusual joinery features a simple three-fork joint. “I had travelled widely in Japan”, says Werner Blaser, “and the details reflect the influence of that world. And since the competition was anonymous, the jury presumed that I was a Japanese designer, while I was actually from Basel!”. Born in 1924 and a student of Alvar Aalto, Blaser studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and in Japan. He opened his own studio in Basel in 1959 and for a long time worked with Mies van der Rohe, publishing various books about the latter’s architecture.