Key facts

B&B Italia >
Antonio Citterio >
Architonic ID:
Manufacturer groups :
Seating-Sofas >
Seating-Sofas >

Product description

/ B&B Italia celebrates the 20th anniversary of Charles, the iconic seating system designed by Antonio Citterio in 1997, showcasing a special version which offers two new coverings in orange/red and grey/blue colours, shades Charles Eames identified with in the ‘60s, and features Charles 20 in the dedicated installation designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects. The Charles sofa, framed by a graphic scenic backdrop, surrounded by history, with its elegance and balance, it represents a constant. Behind it, images from the last twenty years appear – events, objects, scientific and technological discoveries emerge as striking images from the semi-transparent graphic backdrop, in a dynamic overlapping of historical references. The relentless march of time is shown through the evolution of cities and populations displayed in a stratification of graphics and data. Recent skylines, from Shanghai to Milan, animate and outline a constantly evolving landscape. Everything is dynamic and constantly changing, while at the centre, the Charles sofa, stays constant, modern – an iconic and timeless piece, dominating the scene.

A leading piece in contemporary lifestyle, Charles owes its immense success to both its shape and aesthetics, and to the research and innovation that went into its design: values which are part of B&B Italia’s dna and underlying themes in all of its projects. The characteristics which have made it a contemporary classic are numerous: a slim but strong structure, thanks to the metal frame embedded in cold polyurethane foam mouldings, a single seating cushion, a light appearance accentuated by the essential design of the “inverted L”- shaped die cast aluminium feet. High seat modularity starting with sixteen elements per type and different sizes - this is the concept behind Charles. The sixteen elements offer a wide variety of linear and corner compositions while the chaise-longue end units make peninsula compositions possible for open spaces.

20 years on from its debut, Charles reconfirms its qualities as longseller and bestseller product of the company and is still nowadays a reference model in the world of design worldwide. The exhibition will take place in the B&B Italia’s stores worldwide after it spins off from Milan’s via Durini showcase.

Product family


High seat modularity starting with sixteen elements per type and different sizes - this is the concept behind Charles. Linear and corner compositions are developed with these elements, particularly with chaise longue end units. Peninsula-style compositions can be beautifully arranged in the centre of room. A single seat-cushion, a series of free cushions placed on the backrest, a light picture enhanced by the pure lines of die-cast aluminium feet make Charles a sofa with a decidedly modern taste.

Internal frame: tubular steel and steel sections
Internal frame upholstery: Bayfit® (Bayer®) flexible cold shaped polyurethane foam, polyester fibre wadding
Internal frame upholstery ottoman: shaped polyurethane of different densities, polyester fibre wadding
Seat cushions upholstery: shaped polyurethane, sterilised down, polyester fibre wadding
Back cushions upholstery: polyester fibre
Feet: die-cast bright brushed aluminium
Ferrules: thermoplastic material
Cover: fabric or leather

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If it ain't broke: B&B Italia's Charles sofa

Brand story

Dominic Lutyens


Italian premium manufacturer B&B ITALIA's sofa Charles, designed by Antonio Citterio, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Time to take a closer look at what makes this bestseller so iconic.