Cassina: Luxury Italian Furniture in Sarasota
Cassina: Luxury Italian Furniture in Sarasota
90 Years Of Design Excellence
Cassina Furniture has been working with the best of the best in modern design for over nine decades, including Pierre Jeanneret, Le Corbusier, Gerrit Ritveld, Charlotte Prrieand, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gio Ponti, Ettore Sottsass, Vico Mastretti, and more. The list of contemporary lights continues the company's impressive resume, with Konstantin Crcic, Rodolfo Dordoni, Jean-Marie Massaud, Jamie Hayon, Philippe Starck, Piero Lissoni, and Patricia Urquiola, the art director of Cassina. The company has pioneered the idea of working with the best of the best, achieving its iconic status among designers and furniture producers. Italian industrial design is synonymous with the name Cassina.
A Culture of Artistic Freedom From The Beginning
Their impressive resume starts in 1927, when an 18-year-old with an idea began his journey with his brother. Cesare and Umberto Cassina were descendants of carpenters in Meda,Italy, close to Milan, where design manufacturing was rampant. They began Cassina Furniture as a tiny workshop processing wood pieces for use in tables at the local market. Cesare introduced the idea of upholstery to cover the wood, marking the beginning of a company that has become known for high quality and high-end designs. Cesare was more than a businessman, he was a creative mind, recognizing marked designers who had something to offer. He brought young designers on board, such as Gaetano Pesce, offering a salary in exchange for their artistic talent. He allowed artists to continue personal research, so Pesce felt comfortable presenting his idea for vacuum-packed polyurethane seats to Cassina. Even in today's factories, allowing an artist this type of personal freedom is risky, and remains a unique concept among the Cassina factories. The Cassina brothers believed that working with designers was not about looking for creations, but rather about establishing a working relationship with the person, showing them their options in-house, then allowing each designer to work freely with the tools provided. This has allowed for freedom of expression and innovative, high-end designing.
Innovation and Exceptional Craftsmanship In Furniture Manufacturing
Cassina found its place in the industry in the Italian post-war fashion renaissance of the 50's. It launched an industrial design as the country experienced an economic boom, moving from handcraftmanship to more serial production. This included identifying the potential for a commercialized product by looking at each item's compatibility with new lifestyles and types of living. This approach came about through thorough studies of technologies and materials. The managing director, Gianluca Armento, notes that change only exists when a company is willing to work with uncertainties. Cassina is both innovative and brave in the approach to furniture. Since its beginning, Cassina has explored new techniques of production with innovative machines and materials, combined with the best craftmanship to fit the current living requirements. Innovation and research were the building blocks for this avant-garde company, which included the best designers and architects who had the latest technologies, materials and processes available. For the first time in the industry, these individuals were encouraged to work with a piece from its initial idea all the way to its completed production. This created a collaboration between the skilled manufacturer and the designer that was unprecedented, resulting in a product that represents a modern feel in Italian designs. Cassina joined the Poltrona Frau Group in 2005, becoming one with a world leader in high-end luxury furniture. Among other companies, Cassina is now among the best of the best in interior design and furniture.
From Homes To Cruise Ships, Cassina Continues To Innovate And Inspire
The Cassina brand is still created in Meda, with each item made to last for generations. Production has grown to an industrial level, yet remaining based around those original artisan work stations. Wood is worked in the factory with modern machinery, but is completed under the watchful eye and manual abilities of individual craftsmen. Parts of production, such as sanding, assembly and gluing, are still done by hand. The company's dedication to an historical ideal of workmanship still marks each product. For example, the 699 Superleggera chair, designed in 1957 by Gio Ponti, is a reinterpretation of the Ligurian chiavarina chair, reworked by hand through the years. Its transformation from an ultra-light piece to a solid ash structure is a reflection of the innovative freedom loaned to each architect within the company. In fact, Ponti, who originally worked in luxury boat development, helped move the company forward in the world of fashion. When WWII ended, shipowners were charged with rebuilding themselves. Ponti contacted the Cassina brothers to help create a number of pieces for these boats, helping the company create a name for itself in that market. During the 50's and 60's, the company found themselves furnishing 58 cruise ships, such as the Raffaello, Andrea Doria, and Michelangelo. Through these furnishings, the company was essentially exporting Italian styles almost from the beginning, inadvertently creating an international business. This is how Cassina became accustomed to creating limited series, eventually navigating between industrial and artisanal productions. The ability to move seamlessly between the systems is part of Cassina's brand identity.