01/07/2020 - Ico Parisi
returns to Cassina
with a collection of furniture reissued from both the company's historical archive as well as from private commissions of models never serially produced before. Thanks to a painstaking philological process of research and development carried out in collaboration with Roberta Lietti, curator of the Ico Parisi Design Archives, Cassina rediscovers the roots of the midcentury culture of living. Following Franco Albini and Marco Zanuso, Ico Parisi becomes the third Italian architect to be part of the company’s anthology devoted to the reissues of the great masters of 20th Century architecture.
A central figure of the artistic panorama of the post-war period
Ico Parisi, Sicilian by origin, architect, designer, graphic designer, photographer, film director, set designer and painter, led his life and career between Como and Milan. At a very young age, he worked at Giuseppe Terragni’s architecture practice where the architectural and artistic avant-garde of the area gathered. In the 1950s Parisi began a long-standing collaboration with Cesare Cassina: his debut dates back to 1954 with the 813 model, the armchair that went down in history as 'the egg-shaped armchair' due to its enveloping shape and curvilinear motifs. Parisi was not only one of Cassina’s top designers, but he was also entrusted with the design of the company’s showrooms in Meda and Rome in addition to the curation of its catalogue.
A personal and multifaceted style of furniture design
In the 1950s and 1960s, Ico Parisi’s furniture already stood out for its modernity. A supporter of free expression, his creations were initially handcrafted in the Como area to guarantee truly excellent results with high-quality materials. From complex furniture to small furnishing accessories full of creativity and eclecticism, all of Parisi’s products, often provocative and ironic, were the expression of his natural flair which was defined by Gio Ponti in Domus magazine as “troubled, never left in peace by fantasy'. A lover of contrasts, he often found himself making tables and console tables with heavy tops reinforced by slender supports to challenge the typical traditions in force in the design world.
Reissuing: a meticulous and authentic process
Today Cassina brings this furniture back to life to cover all areas of the home, from the living room to the dining area. This mid-century furniture characterised by high quality materials, skilful curved lines and a strong aesthetic impact, is today reissued by Cassina with the same valued methodology, know-how and the most advanced technologies, always in full respect of the original project. The company has in fact carried out important philological work by studying original documents, prototypes and existing models to put into production a collection that combines traditional carpentry workmanship with advanced industrial and technical solutions.
As a sign of authenticity, the entire collection bears the logo and signature of Ico Parisi as well as the progressive number that corresponds to the identity card that accompanies each piece.
The 875 armchair returns from the Cassina archives
The 875 armchair was designed by Ico Parisi in 1960 for Cassina (at the time Figli di Amedeo Cassina). Cosy, rigorous and elegant, its body is fixed to unusual arched supports that accentuate its defined profile. Characterised by an ample seat and armrests that encourage support, the 875 is a comfortable and functional armchair destined for any room of the house. Its author’s typical experimentation has led to the creation of an armchair that is classic and modern at the same time. Its solemn appearance is reduced by the contrast of the materials used and, despite having classic features, it is eclectic, innovative and adaptable to any context. The 875 armchair was initially padded with foam rubber cut into sharp edges, today it has been reissued with expanded polyurethane padding in order to maintain its linear shape. Both the backrest and the seat are upholstered in fabric from the Cassina collections, just like its removable cushions. The arched supports are available in brushed nickel, polished chrome, polished gold chrome, polished gunmetal or painted matt black.
The Olimpino table: from a private villa to the Cassina reissue
This table was designed by Parisi in 1955 for a villa near Como. The Cassina Research and Development Centre has conducted a careful study of the original model to bring this unique project into serial production.
The slender metal tubular structure of the Olimpino table holds a rectangular monolithic sheet of glass that allows the articulated metal structure below to be admired. The two pairs of upright legs, characterised by a typical Y-shape, have internal upper arms that converge to join under the top while the external arms diverge to hold and elegantly support it; a double crossbar gives strength to the legs and divides close to the edge to form a double V shape. Its uniqueness is further defined by elegant arrow-shaped wooden feet that nicely contrast with the metal of its legs and crossbar. Expertly designed, it has a bold appearance making it highly recognisable.
PA '1947, a geometric and elegant shaped console table, testimony of Cassina’s craftsmanship
This solid wood console table was designed in 1947 and used in numerous projects including Ico Parisi’s own home. The name of the reissue is also a tribute to Parisi’s nickname, PA’, that is the beginning of his surname together with an accent resulting in a diminutive form of the word ‘father’ in recognition of his role in leading the modern movement in Como. The design idea was born from a few lines drawn on a sheet of paper: a straight horizontal line and two oblique ones to define a harmonious and tense structure with almost perfect proportions and an organic appearance. An image that could be compared to a foal ready to spring into action expressing the strength and tension of its tapered legs. Its rectangular top has four straight slots near the ends on the two main sides into which, like real joints, the tips of the upper arms of its slender and characteristic divergent Y-shaped legs are inserted and fixed in pairs by means of a small crossbar. Its balance is strengthened thanks to two oblique solid blocks turned to create an organic form which, diagonally joined to the small crossbar, perfectly fit under the top. The parts come together and dialogue in a fluid and continuous way to create a refined and balanced console table, immediately recognisable and perfect for all rooms of the home.