The Italian premium manufacturer B&B ITALIA teamed up with design heavyweight Piero Lissoni for the new SAKé sofa collection.

Veteran architect and designer Piero Lissoni has worked for many brands, creating everything from hotel interiors to cars, but this is the first time he has collaborated with renowned furniture company B&B Italia

Sofa so good: B&B Italia | News

Veteran architect and designer Piero Lissoni has worked for many brands, creating everything from hotel interiors to cars, but this is the first time he has collaborated with renowned furniture company B&B Italia

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As one of the most prolific, successful and in-demand designers of the last 30 years, the list of companies that Piero Lissoni has worked with is extensive. From furniture to cars to hotel brands and beyond, the award-winning, Milan-based architect and designer’s collaborations read like a roll call of design excellence. Until recently however, it wouldn’t have taken too long to spot that one company in particular was missing from this stellar line up: B&B Italia.

Designed for optimum flexibility, the brilliant SAKé series may be configured either as a sofa and chaise longue or as a sofa bed, complete with a sturdy headboard

Sofa so good: B&B Italia | News

Designed for optimum flexibility, the brilliant SAKé series may be configured either as a sofa and chaise longue or as a sofa bed, complete with a sturdy headboard

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Undoubtedly one of the world’s most innovative and creative furniture companies, B&B Italia’s stellar collaborators include world-class design talent such as Antonio Citterio, Patricia Urquiola, Naoto Fukasawa, Gaetano Pesce, Mario Bellini, Marcel Wanders, Jean-Marie Massaud, David Chipperfield, Jasper Morrison, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, Doshi Levien, the late Zaha Hadid and more. Unsurprising then, that the manufacturer has produced over 1,000 designs (including prototypes), since it’s launch in 1966, and now has seven flagships, 45 monobrand stores worldwide, and dedicated spaces in over 800 specialist points of sale.

Cut to Milan Design Week 2017, and the B&BItalia/Lissoni partnership has been cemented at last. Lissoni’s design for the Italian superbrand is a sofa system called SAKé, which (along with Formiche, a series of small tables) becomes the inaugural collaboration between these two design dynamos. While sitting in a Japanese restaurant sipping rice wine, founder of the brand, Piero Ambrogio Busnelli apparently declared to Lissoni, "Sooner or later you’re going to work for me". The name SAKé pays homage to that moment, and the rest, as they say, is history.

With idiosyncratic elegance and restraint, Lissoni's design pairs armrests, which bookend the seat cushions, with slender supports, creating the impression that the sofa is floating – as if it were a "flying carpet"

Sofa so good: B&B Italia | News

With idiosyncratic elegance and restraint, Lissoni's design pairs armrests, which bookend the seat cushions, with slender supports, creating the impression that the sofa is floating – as if it were a "flying carpet"

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Contemporary and beautifully simple, the SAKé series of sofas is emblematic of Lissoni’s work, which he’s described as “minimalistic, simple and elegant”. For this piece in particular, he says his aim, was to create a sense of lightness. Available with seats in three lengths, (175cm, 210cm and 270cm) and with arms positioned at right angles to create a modern, box-like feel, or sloping for a more gentle enveloping effect, the various elements can be configured in a number of ways, thus creating the perfect seating system to suit any conceivable space from compact urban apartments to generous, open-plan living areas. An additional chaise longue module can be used to punctuate the sofas and create comfortable L-shape compositions.

The B&B Italia textile collection offers numerous options for upholstery, ranging from six classic soft Italian leathers to natural linens and finely woven wools. Customers can opt for subtle neutrals or brighter tones

Sofa so good: B&B Italia | News

The B&B Italia textile collection offers numerous options for upholstery, ranging from six classic soft Italian leathers to natural linens and finely woven wools. Customers can opt for subtle neutrals or brighter tones

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Alternatively, push two chaises together to form an intimate arrangement with an extra deep seat. By switching up the interchangeable back elements and arms, the 210cm, 225cm and 245cm models can also be reconfigured to create a sofa bed complete with sturdy headboard.

Piped cushions are cosy but not weighty, and upholstery comes in a wide range of fabrics from the B&B Italia textile collection, including woven wools, natural linens, and velvets in cool neutrals, punchy brights and smart dark shades. Also available in quintessential Italian style is a range of six high quality leathers. These materials complement the steel base with pewter-painted finish – slender and minimal it lends the sofa lightness, so that it appears to float and defy gravity.

The SAKé series' modularity allows for multiple configurations to suit a variety of functions and settings, whether lobby furniture in a large corporate office or a living room sofa in a compact, urban apartment

Sofa so good: B&B Italia | News

The SAKé series' modularity allows for multiple configurations to suit a variety of functions and settings, whether lobby furniture in a large corporate office or a living room sofa in a compact, urban apartment

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A technological platform, magically suspended in the air like a flying carpet, is how Lissoni has imaginatively and romantically described the essence of his latest design, and although it sadly cannot whisk one away to a faraway land, the clever, multi-functional nature of the SAKé series means it can magically transform into a host of incarnations that will offer comfort, flexibility – and even a peaceful night’s sleep – for many years to come. The SAKé series is another project defined by research, innovation, functionality and excellence and is, furthermore, an expression of that “timeless design”, the hallmark of all B&B Italia’s projects.

© Architonic

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