Modular sofa systems

The advantage of a modular sofa system is the possibility to create a more fitting solution to user’s requirements by fitting together the available modules into the desired configuration. The modules often include, but are not limited to: armrests, backrests, corner elements, bench elements and reclining parts. These are often available in different finishes and colours.

One might be tempted by the clean lines and minimalist details of Nicolaus Maniatis’s and Thomas Kirn’s luxurious, leather ‘DS 904’ modular sofa system for de Sede. Dick Spierenburg’s ‘Domino’ for Montis is a more robust, and also a more informal affair, allowing freer positioning, and a choice from different materials and colours.

An even more understated solution is Quinze & Milan ‘Matrass’, a series of low sofa modules, some with backrests, and available in plastic foam, leather or fabric upholstery. One could argue that studioPANG-designed ‘Wheely’ for Slide is equally committed to formal reduction. However, consisting of only one organically shaped element, it evokes a much more informal and playful atmosphere.

Vitra-manufactured ‘Suita Sofa’ modular system, designed by Antonio Citterio, reminiscent of the visually light and optimistic mid-century, modernist design, is part of a wider range consisting of, among others, a daybed, an armchair and an ottoman. The ‘Ponton’ modular sofa system, designed for Leolux by Jürgen Brau and Nicolaus Maniatis, takes this a step further: here the separate modules can be used independently as a daybed, one-person armchair or a two-seat sofa, or they can be joined to create a larger ensemble.

The modular sofa systems discussed so far can be combined at right angles. Not so with Luca Nichetto’s ‘Ben Grim’ for Casamania, which consists of upholstered benches with freely positionable backrests and an irregular, cell-shaped corner element which allows for a gentle bend in the composition. Verner Panton’s ‘Cloverleaf | Sofa’ modular system, produced by Verpan, is an ornately curving design

And finally, while Werner Aisslinger’s ‘Bikini Island Landscape’ for Moroso deconstructs the modular sofa in a free composition of various constituent elements, Marcel Wanders’s ‘zliq island’ for moooi focuses all attention to its centre, which can slide out as a separate daybed.

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