A great sofa is integral to every living space. Whether your decision is purely based on aesthetics or selected for ultimate comfort, the humble sofa helps define the space and get clear on your intention of life within it.
Below we have a list of Tigmi’s Top 12 Iconic Sofas of all time - chosen for their considered, original and enduring design. Most have reimagined structures that have transformed the way we think about furniture, breathing life and character into functional everyday objects. All of them timeless and iconic statement pieces that will never lose their appeal - testament to the ideas of the designers who created them.
Togo 3 Seater by Michel Ducarot for Ligne Roset
Definitely having its renaissance moment, the Togo Lounge Settee was another icon of the 1970s. Designed by Michel Ducarot, the Togo modular collection is one of the most recognisable from its era, featuring a low-profile it is a plush and extremely comfortable place to relax.
Rock Sofa by Gerard Van Den Berg for Montis Holland
Known for transforming classics in to contemporary forms, Gerard van den Berg created the Rock Sofa for Danish furniture producer Montis in 1970. His aesthetic stemmed from concepts of ‘heightened’ comfort – where this design has clearly taken its cues. With a sturdy high back that lowers to a well cushioned base, it’s high form also helps with zoning living areas within the home.
Camaleonda by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia
Designed by Mario Bellini first in 1970, this inimitable design is a beloved ‘must have’ piece of design aficionados. Allowing several configurations, it redistributes itself with the innovative system of cables, hooks and rings that defines the characteristic look and modularity. Allowing you to enjoy the luxury of changing your mind as often as you desire, moving and redesigning the space – aka ultimate freedom.
Anfibio Sofa Bed by Alessandro Becchi for Giovannetti
Designed by Alessandro Becchi in the 1970’s, the ‘Anfibio’ (amphibian) sofa is perhaps the precursor to the futon couch. Easily transformed into a large double bed, it features an in-built sheepskin mattress when folded out. An icon of pop-art design, the Anfibio is an emblematic example of modern Italian design.
With its iconic A-frame shape, the Upholstered Sofa by Pierre Jeanneret was part of his Chandigarh designs, made originally for lobbies in the city. A hallmark of Jeanneret’s work was his great sensitivity to the materials. Using local teak which was highly durable, this enabled the designs to survive decades - the Upholstered series brings a comfortable twist to the coveted Chandigarh series.
Pumpkin Sofa by Pierre Paulin for Ligne Roset
Originally created for the private collection of former French President Georges Pompidou in the Elysee Palace, Paulin was asked to redesign the entire apartment and created a series of sculptural sofas and chairs. The Pumpkin is characteristic of Paulin’s revolutionary style, as the name suggests it is evocative of a giant pumpkin, soft, round and organic in form.
Two Seater Djinn Sofa by Olivier Mourgue for Airbourne
Created by French designer Olivier Mourgue, the Djinn Sofa was revolutionary for its time. When it first appeared in 1965 it was both praised and condemned by the critics for its originality. With a wave-like, low slung silhouette - sadly they are no longer in production making them rare collectors items. Especially considering their pop-culture status by its futuristic presence in cinema including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Bladerunner.
"The Djinn still looks futuristic - if I were making a movie about the future, I would still use it." - Christopher Mount, design curator at MoMA
Trio Sofa by Team Form AG for COR
Created in 1972 by Team Form AG in Switzerland, the Cor blends seamlessly with its simple forms into any environment. 'Seamless' in a metaphorical way of course, because the double outer seam lends Trio an unmistakable character and at the same time demonstrates its high-quality and intricate workmanship. Comprising of three simple elements creating a reclaimer, lounging area and an XXL sofa.
Lara Sofa by Roberto Pamio, Noti Masari & Renato Toso for Stilwood
Creating a sunken living room feeling yet suspending it off the ground, the Lara Sofa was first designed in Italy circa 1960 by Roberto Pamio & Renato Toso – students of Carlo Scarpa. With the ability to separate in two parts, it has a comfortable and friendly presence of the spaces it occupies.
Le Bambole by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia
The iconic ‘Le Bambole sofa was inspired by the way a paper bag was set on the ground and squashed. How is that for a concept? Sculptural and bold, all parts are shaped like large cushions – offering comfort and the feeling of a soft embrace for the user.
DS 600 Sectional Sofa by Ueli Berger for de Sede
Named after a mythical alpine creature, the Tatzelwurm, the DS-600 sectional sofa is composed of narrow modular elements that can be expanded to create seemingly endless shapes – it is also for this reason known as the endless sofa. A 20th century design icon, it has an elegant yet playful appearance, and is pleasingly comfortable at the same time.
Soriana Sofa by Tobia and Afra Scarpa for Cassina
Created in 1968, the Soriana Sofa was designed hastily when the couple were briefed by Cassina to create a radical new sofa in two-months. Inspired to use the material of the moment, expanding poluerethane, the Scarpa’s set to the task – going on to win a prestigious Compasso d’Oro award for its visual complexity achieved with simplicity. The Soriana is a low and soft design that invites the sitter to really sink in. Its standout feature is the minimalist chromed wire structure that cinch and push the cushions in to place, adding another element to what would otherwise be an amorphous design.
Vintage Environ One Sofa by Ennio Chiggio for Nikol International
A voluptuous, large-scale sofa the Environ One was designed by Ennio Chiggo in the 1970’s. This rare modular sofa has an organic shape that gives the impression of a room within a room. Helped by the fact that it somewhat creates a shell like environment that has nifty little details such as a round dent to put your drinks or glasses on, leaving little reason to get up.
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