Molteni&C blends its long history of artisanal Italian craftsmanship with innovative, forward thinking and taps into archival designs for its outdoor debut.
For its first outdoor collection, Molteni&C revisited Luca Meda’s Palinfrasca archival design. The frame can be woven in teak or EVA polyurethane in an olive green colorway.
You know Molteni&C for its authentic made-in-Italy ethos, sleek silhouettes, quality craftsmanship and reverence for the past with an eye toward the future. So, when the heritage brand decided to take to the outdoors for the first time since it started in 1934, continuing that legacy was inherently part of the game plan.
Molteni&C’s new outdoor collection
Coinciding with Salone del Mobile and a renovation of its flagship showroom in the Miami Design District, Molteni&C recently debuted its premiere outdoor collection of textiles, seating, tables, rugs and even an outdoor kitchen. With creative director Vincent Van Duysen at the helm, the collection tells an organic narrative through the eyes of Van Duysen, Nicola Gallizia, Marta Ferri, Foster + Partners and Ron Gilad. “Just as in the 2022 indoor collection for Molteni&C, for the new outdoor proposal, I again pursued an idea of softness and well-being, of organic playfulness in an architectural vision of the furniture,” Van Duysen says.
A reedit of Gio Ponti’s D.150.5 chaise
“I was inspired by modernism to recall the idea of permeability and transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces and that intimate connection with light and nature.” Those modernist forms appear in Van Duysen’s Timeout collection: a curation of clean lines given movement through a ribbon of burnished, painted aluminum bands and warmed with woven polypropylene rope that pays homage to Mediterranean basket weaving. The Landmark collection does the same, this time with solid teak interlaced using cabinetmaking techniques to form a series of curved-back sofas, chairs and daybeds. Landmark is designed around a reissue of Luca Meda’s 1994 archival Palinfrasca sofa and acts as a prelude to two other edits of classic pieces in the Heritage collection: Gio Ponti’s angular D.150.5 chaise—first seen in 1952 on the sun deck of the storied Andrea Doria Italian cruise liner—and Ponti’s D.154.2 chair, originally destined for indoor use at Villa Planchart in Caracas, Venezuela, also in the ’50s. Here, they’ve been reimagined with a polyurethane frame and water-repellent upholstery. And they’re all rendered in earthy hues of brown, rust, Desert Yellow, olive green and Anthracite, setting the tone for the pieces to become one with their environment.
Vincent Van Duysen’s Timeout collection
The Helios outdoor kitchen offerings follow suit with their linear structures and natural color palettes, as does Molteni&C’s selection of solid and tonal-patterned outdoor fabrics and the rugs by Van Duysen, Gallizia and Ferri, imbued with nature-inspired, Mediterranean undercurrents. One of the rugs comes in a silky option made from 100% recycled and recyclable PET, and speaks to the brand’s sustainability efforts. Think certified supply chains, recyclable upholstery and innovative use of materials like Foster + Partners’ recyclable cement Arc table or the crushed recycled glass made from TV and computer monitors baked into Gilad’s Panna Cotta lava stone table.
A reedit of Gio Ponti’s D.154.2 chair; Ron Gilad’s Panna Cotta tables;
“Our new outdoor collection is based on cultural and design references from tradition but made modern, characterized by an idea of simplicity that stems from careful plays on proportions,” Van Duysen says. “The technology is cutting edge but hidden. The materials are natural and timeless. It has characteristics that are intrinsic to Molteni&C’s identity: the careful craftsmanship of the production, the sophistication of the details, and the beauty of the individual objects that encapsulates the lessons of the great architects and designers it has interpreted. The new outdoor proposal shows a graphic presence and a sense of timelessness that I find in the brand.”