Philippe Nigro: Pilotis for DePadova

Philippe Nigro: Pilotis for DePadova

Philippe Nigro: Pilotis for DePadova

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In a critical period like the one we are living in, austerity and simplicity are not only rediscovered values, appreciated even by the wealthiest people. They are rather a concrete source of inspiration for several artists, who try to overcome the ideal of equality between allure and redundancy in order to find a new, reborn definition of beauty: beauty as a synonym of uncontaminated, of escape from noise, of pure linearity. The best example of this pursuit of simplicity is the recent campaign launched by the famous brand De Padova for its new collection. Just the mere slogan is emblematic: “Simplicity is the hardest thing in the world”, quotation of the famous Italian designer Vico Magistretti.

In this amazing collection, based on the reinterpretation of the most iconic products of the brand, the Pilotis sofa truly stands out. Real masterpiece by the French product designer Philippe Nigro, who has distinguished himself for several witty creations that led him to win, in 2009, the competitions Young & Design and the Red Dot Best of the Best. In this project, Nigro has put all his effort to reinterpret simplicity for De Padova, and the result is simply amazing: a structure where architectural inspirations perfectly mix and match with furniture design.

This is a three-seat sofa, complete with lower back cushions. The design of its structure is made with five legs with adjustable feet gravitating around the upholstered seat. Sloping like the supports of a construction, what is astonishing about the back structure is how sharply contrasting it is with respect to the bench. On one hand, it is easy to notice the hardness of both the back frame, made of steel and wood, and the base, which can be in natural or “Canaletto” black oak (complemented by transparent acrylic varnish). On the other hand, the softness of the bench is surprising: an element made up with goosedown with polyurethane foam support, covered in either orange or grey removable cotton fabric. With this game of contrasts, a continuous dialogue between support and what is supported, between the structure and the shape, between the inside and the outside, is established.

Pilotis is unique for the smart translation of an architectural concept in furniture: this application provokes a shift of scale in the eye of the observer, resulting in a deep alteration of perceptions. Philippe Nigro himself describes his project as “a suspended, intimate island, a sheltered place, a refuge for relaxation, generating a different position, a different vision of the outside world”. Despite its purity of shapes, this sofa can easily become the absolute protagonist of any kind of living area: maybe it is this extreme simplicity that renders this furniture tool easily adaptable to any interior style.


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Philippe Nigro: Pilotis for DePadova

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