Each week, we bring you something a little bit different from the last, whether it be the latest design news, a classic design revisited, a recent exhibition or trip or an exclusive guest edit from an influential designer or blogger. Remember, we love to hear your feedback, so why not let us know what you think about our blog posts by email or Twitter? Enjoy!
Our Sales Negotiator Ashlee recently visited northern Italy to explore the Zanotta factory and showroom in Monza and to take an exclusive peek into the studio of design legend Achille Castiglioni in Milan. Read on as we take you on a virtual tour of both!
Monza has been home to luxury furniture specialists Zanotta since the company was founded 1954, and today the area boasts a large factory dedicated to the company’s production facilities, and a spacious showroom too. It was fascinating touring the production site and to see the level of care taken over every single product that goes through the factory. The highlight for us was seeing the skilled leather workers prep the leather for the William Sofa – perhaps our all-time favourite Zanotta design. The leather is laid out while lasers electronically measure the hide to see if it will be big enough for its intended use. Then, after is has been cut out, the technicians painstakingly sew the leather together to ensure excellent quality standards. It was great to see one of our favourite designs take shape before our eyes!
After a wonderful tour around the factory (where we also saw an entire room filled floor-to-ceiling with Sacco Easy Chairs!), we were invited to a talk from Zanotta’s CEO, Gian Paolo Armana, who spoke openly and honestly about what the Zanotta brand meant to him and what his vision for the future was. It was a fascinating insight into one of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers and the plans for the future were very intriguing indeed!
Afterwards, we headed to the Zanotta showroom in central Monza so we could see the finished designs in the flesh. Again, it was a wonderful experience walking around the cool, calm space and we could have stayed for hours! Highlights included the Kilt Modular Sofa in deep charcoal grey and the Lama Chaise. See our snaps from the gorgeous showroom below.
Our second day began with a 15-mile trip south to Milan where we to took a tour of design icon Achille Catiglioni’s studio. We were exceptionally excited to visit the studio as, not only is it where many of the world’s great designs originated, but it has remained untouched since the designer’s death in 2002.
While walking around the cosy interior, what took us back the most about Castiglioni’s space was that he was a hoarder – books were piled high on every available surface, all his prototypes were collected and stored carefully away, and obscure statues, relics and quirky objects were visible in every room (his cigarette men, below, certainly raised a few smiles!). Knowing his simple, effective designs inside out, this is something that surprised us the most.
Accompanying us on our tour of the Castiglioni studio was his daughter, Giovanna, who provided us with interesting anecdotes as we wandered around her father’s old studio. Did you know that Castiglioni designed the Zanotta Primate Kneeling Stool for his wife who had back problems? And also that the Sella Seat was originally intended to be used as a telephone stool for the hallway? We felt honoured to be able to see this wonderful space and certainly recommend a visit if you’re in the Milan area!
To finish off our trip, we headed for central Milan to marvel at the city’s architecture and to enjoy some traditional Italian food before we headed back home to Sheffield. Thanks for having us Zanotta and Studio Museum Castiglioni, we can’t wait to come back!
If you would like any more information on any Zanotta product, please email Ashlee who will be happy to help. Just drop her a mail to email@example.com or give her a ring on +44 (0) 114 2433000.