An architect and designer well ahead of his time; Mario Bellini
November 16, 2014
Mario Bellini is still going strong at 79. In 1959, he graduated from the Milan Polytechnic Faculty of Architecture and began a splendidly successful career as an Italian architect and designer in the early 1960s. Based in Milan, his work includes everything from architecture and urban design to furniture and industrial design.
His website is complete with his most well known designs dating back to 1960. It's hard to comprehend how many of his furniture pieces were designed 2 to 3 decades ago, as their aesthetic was well ahead of time. An example of this is the La Rotonda table. It is a design we see replicated and adapted everywhere today - whether it's Matt Blatt, Nick Scali, Harvey Norman, SPACE, SOKOL, to name a few.
It is such a beautifully balanced design that has stayed modern and current.
La Rotonda table, 1977
"Entwined like ardent logs of a home fire generating inviting heat, a wooden embrace holds the key to transforming warmth into beauty. " Bellini
A photo of these Le Bambole sofas, is what first brought my attention to Bellini and his long-dated, brilliant talents. I nearly fell off my chair when i saw that he had first designed this chair in 1972! I want them in my house - the soft, cloud like appearance is made formal by the aged, brown buffalo leather covering, sewen tightly into neatly refined seams.
Le Bambole chair, 1972
Original dimensions: 49 w x 36.5 d x 29 h inches
In 2007, Bellini launched a re-edition of the 1972 Le Bambole chair, in new materials like jersey, but it's available from B&B Italia in a whole range of upholsteries and leathers. The original armchair is now joined by a two seat sofa (Bibambola), three seat sofa (Tribambola) and ottoman (Bambouf) in two sizes.
Another piece that has done full circle since Bellini designed the Lira e Liutochair in the late 80's. Gentle clean lines finished in colourful leather make these chairs fun yet sophisitcated.
Lira e Liuto chair, 1989
One of Bellini's newest releases, this Opera table is set on a solid wood structure, that is made light to the eye with it's crossed woodwork beneath a glass surface. You need a big space to house this statement piece!
Opera table, 2014
Finishings are in natural or grey stained maple wood, natural oak, teak, matt lacquered birch wood or multilayer in different colors. It's available in oval or round, and in two leg designs (see photos below); oval: 290 x 180cm, oval: 250 x 155cm, or, round: diameter 160cm.
Bellini's industrial design skills were not restricted to furniture, in 1984 he designed an electric kettle, and a year later produced a rice boiler and spaced-aged tea set!
Check out more of his design work on his website here. He also features his major architecture projects and exhibitions that date back to 1984.