A Roman transportation of the Roman Domus from Molteni&C
The 2023 Molteni&C Collection project, under the creative direction of Vincent Van Duysen, narrates the connection between indoor and outdoor, between intimacy and sharing, and between private and public space.
The project is based on the domestic configurations of the ancient Roman Domus: the central element of the domus is the uncovered courtyard, from which the house receives light and water, collected in a pool. The other private and public rooms are arranged around the courtyard. The inner portico, or peristyle, adorned with columns, bounds the garden, and is intended for one’s otium in nature.
The Belgian creative director also drew inspiration from the 1933 house designed and built by Pier Giulio Magistretti in Milan, which similarly integrates ancient and avant- garde elements.
Thus, the decor of the 2023 Collection strikes a balance between the comfort of privacy and the sophisticated expressions of contemporary living, revolving around the uncovered courtyard where the art of living takes shape. A home immersed in light and lush nature, where the indoors spills into the outdoors.
Within the collection, creative director Vincent Van Duysen dialogues with key international players of architecture and design: from the architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron to the Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa. Enriching the proposal is the new Outdoor Collection, which is characterized by refined visual rigor and functional design, where elegant natural materials meet exceptional craftsmanship and technological research.
The Fabric Collection, Varva, conceived by Marta Ferri, finds its signature in colour, a precious but fundamental detail that awaits to be discovered.
“The home is once again the beating heart: conceived in a new guise – domestic, welcoming, and reassuring – it becomes a place in which to participate and share, on the border between public and private. A home of noble simplicity and quiet grandeur,” says Vincent Van Duysen, quoting the archaeologist JJ Winckelmann.
Classical references to the Roman Domus are also found in the artistic collaboration with Roberto Ruspoli, who interpreted the Collection’s archetypes with his paintings. The work, ‘Virgil’s Dream’, created exclusively for Molteni&C, becomes the backdrop for the 2023 Collection’s new products. It represents the imaginary room of the young poet Virgil, where his first poetic visions are formed. A setting in which nature re- emerges from the falling plaster and cracked walls, penetrating with its elements and literally crossing the peristyle, while a playful Zephyr delights in blending it all together.
“Contours, lines, and anthropomorphic figures stand out in a monochromatic space, contaminated by ancient forms revisited with a modern twist,” Van Duysen says of Ruspoli’s work. “The classical gives way to the contemporary, in a stylistic ecstasy that breaks the patterns of space and time, to find itself in the here and now.”
Embellished with refined materials, innovative construction techniques, and the unparalleled craftsmanship of Molteni&C, the 2023 Collection features a wide range of furnishings, such as Porta Volta, the chair signed by Herzog & de Meuron – created for the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem – transposed for the home environment, or Naoto Fukasawa’s Cinnamon armchair, with its playful, anthropomorphic forms, which fit into a dimension dotted with Molteni&C elements of classic-contemporary style.
When combined, the palette of materials – natural wood, glass, leather, and metal – gives life to precious details, such as in the tone-on-tone of the Augusto sofa or in the elegant contrasting stitching on the leather headboard of the Ovidio bed.
Constant technological research is essential to a more intuitive design, in tune with contemporary needs. Like the Linear frame by Van Duysen, whose hidden hinges, integrated handle, and new silent and cushioned closures, create a refined experience from an aesthetic and functional point of view.
The vision of the indoor range is matched by the new Outdoor Collection, which is based on traditional yet modern cultural and design references, characterized by an idea of simplicity that stems from careful plays on proportions.
“In the new outdoor proposal, I pursued an idea of soft comfort, of organic playfulness in an architectural vision of furniture. I was inspired by modernism to evoke the idea of permeability and transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces and that intimate connection with light and nature,” says Vincent Van Duysen.
The dialogue between materials is the underlining theme throughout the Outdoor Collection. The use of solid teak in the Landmark Collection – with the classic Luca Meda-inspired Palinfrasca sofa – matches the metal profiles of the Timeout Collection, and the cement finish of the Arc table by Foster+Partners creates a game of contrasts and references with the perforated iron top and lava stone base of Ron Gilad’s Panna Cotta table.
Both environments, interior and exterior, harmoniously coexist in the proposal. And to further dissolve the boundaries between the two, some pieces from the Outdoor Collection are reinvented for domestic use.
Viewed as a whole, the 2023 Molteni&C Collection introduces a range of refined and sophisticated furnishings, with an international flavour and timeless stylistic coherence. Different personalities with a single distinctive trait: formal essentiality.
DESIGN BY VINCENT VAN DUYSEN
Vincent Van Duysen reconfigures and adds character to the modern dining room with a new table design, available in two different versions and two heights.
“It was inspired by the hospitality area designed for the new Pavilion inside the Molteni&C headquarters. A welcoming place conceived to create an atmosphere of elegant and minimal Italian hospitality, in line with the soul of the brand”.
The Mateo table is composed of a slightly flared cylindrical pedestal base, which has been divided vertically in two. Made of a curved plywood structure, the symmetrical halves meet in an open furrow, creating a completely new and unexpected design element. The top – available in both rounded and oval versions – tapers subtly at the edges, allowing it to blend in perfectly with a wide range of environments.
The internal frame is further strengthened by a hidden rod in lacquered metal, ensuring stiffness where the base meets the top. The base is available in either coffee oak, sunrise oak, burnished metal or the whole range of glossy lacquers.
“When making the central pedestal,” stated Van Duysen, “I was influenced by the strength of a company with almost 90 years of history behind it. Roots that are deeply anchored, and which support its dynamic approach to the future.”
The Mateo table is available in two versions: dining and lounge. The dining version is 74 cm high while the lounge one is 64 cm.
The dining version is either round, with 140, 160,180 and 200 cm diameters, or oval with 220 and 250 cm lengths. The lounge version has a round top with 120 or 140 cm diameters.
The finishes range from coffee oak, which embodies warm brown facets and tones, to a warmer sunrise oak to glossy lacquers in the entire Molteni&C range, as well as calacatta, emperador dark and black marquina marbles. In addition, two new colours have been introduced to the lacquer palette: Pine Green, which recalls the typical dark green colour of coniferous trees in the winter, and Almond White, a sophisticated milky shade.
Mateo can include the addition of a rotating central element, Lazy Susan – a typical element of oriental culture, which allows all diners to be served in a practical way, creating intimate moments of conviviality. The tray, available in calacatta, emperador dark, and black marquina marble, is developed in two diameters: 80 cm (for the 160 and 180 cm tables) and 100 cm (for the 200 cm table).
The Mateo is a modern concept of dining: a table with scalable proportions and clean lines, designed for the art of entertaining.
PORTA VOLTA CHAIR
DESIGN BY HERZOG & DE MEURON
The Porta Volta Chair by Herzog & de Meuron marks a new chapter of collaboration between the historic brand Molteni&C and the renowned international architectural firm, long-term partners of the Molteni Group.
A special edition of the chair will be used in the reading room of the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, which has been designed by the Basel-based firm. The project will also involve UniFor, a Molteni&C sister brand, who will oversee the fit-out of the library’s main reading room, as well as all built-in furniture and shelving.
“So far, we have created furniture – chairs and stools, tables and lamps – spontaneously, intuitively and always in response to a personal need or a specific project in a specific place. This is why a geographical reference often figures in the names of our furniture and objects. The Porta Volta Chair is an exception: I wanted to design a chair with an armrest because there are hardly any that I like. I wanted it to be comfortable, welcoming and commodious. Like a room to sit down in – rather than just sitting down on something. Wood of a certain width seemed a suitable starting point because it can be bent and treated. 4 planks sufficed to construct the chair and define its dimensions. The Porta Volta Chair debuted in the Feltrinelli building we built at Porta Volta in Milan and was first produced in large numbers for the National Library of Israel.” Jacques Herzog explains.
The Porta Volta Chair highlights the relationship between the upholstered seat and the solid timber back, the defining element of the design. The floating backrest extends around the perimeter of the seat in a U-shape, extending forward to create the armrests, and resting on 3 intersecting wooden U-frames that feature a special curved bent “finger joint” detail at their rounded corners.
The legs and the support for the back are angled slightly outwards, to give a sense of stability and generosity while adding extra comfort.
The structure is crafted from high-quality solid woods – eucalyptus, black oak, sunrise oak, graphite oak or American walnut – ensuring exceptional durability and longevity. The thick padded seat, carefully rendered for the utmost comfort, is available in a wide range of fabrics, leather and in a special selection of Mohair velvet.
The exclusive fabric collection is composed of 4 special custom-made colours: a bright sunflower yellow, a playful daisy pink, a deep royal blue and a silver grey.
The chair has been imagined in two different sizes to allow for flexibility and a wider scope of use. The first is suited for dining – with a height of 71 cm, while the second, referred to as a low chair, is shorter at 66 cm and is intended for a living or a sitting room. The low chair remains at the ideal height to be placed next to a sofa or lounge chair, allowing for comfortable conversation between the two.
One of the standout features of Porta Volta is the optional padding on the backrest — a rectangular-shaped element that latches onto the wooden beam — which is also available in a range of fabrics and leathers, allowing the chair to be customised to suit a multitude of interior concepts.
The Porta Volta Chair by Herzog & de Meuron, resulting from unparalleled attention to detail and exceptional materials, will add a sophisticated addition to any dining room, living space, or office.
GRID UP WALL UNIT
DESIGN BY VINCENT VAN DUYSEN
The Password Evolution system is enriched by GRID UP, a wall unit designed by Vincent Van Duysen that can be either open or closed, with doors and side panels in extra-clear transparent glass and transparent Stopsol. The pewter or iris profiles enhance the module’s design, which is equipped with a new system of directional spotlights on the inside. Finishes include the entire range of matt lacquers, eucalyptus and sunrise oak essences, as well as graphite oak. This element, which can be attached directly to the wall, creates a surprising dynamic effect.
GLISS MASTER BLEND DOOR DESIGN BY RODOLFO DORDONI
The new Blend door by Rodolfo Dordoni is a sophisticated fusion of aesthetics and functionality, designed to maximise customisation of the sleeping area.
The wardrobe’s facade is a unique artistic composition that allows the combination of horizontal and vertical elements. The front is available in multiple configurations: full-height doors or interrupted by the intersection with lower-level drawers.
The door can feature fabric upholstery in vanilla, moss green, olive green, bark brown, and oxide orange, or matte lacquer. The profile is available in eucalyptus wood or matte lacquer. A mirror finish is also available for the drawers.
- Combination of horizontal and vertical elements
- Option of inserting drawers at the base that interrupt the door
- Insertion of additional modules that complement the composition and add storage space
o New fabric upholstery available in vanilla, moss green, olive green, bark brown, and oxide orange
o Matte lacquering
- Profile: matte lacquering, tone-on-tone or eucalyptus
- Drawers: matte lacquering, eucalyptus or mirror finish
DESIGN BY RODOLFO DORDONI
In the 2023 collection, the Milanese designer Rodolfo Dordoni also presents Beauté, a new vanity that can be added to the Blend configuration – or across all other proposals – to create additional functional and discreet spaces. Beauté is both an intimate and elegant space designed to hide the most personal items from view.
The lateral sections in eucalyptus or graphite oak are the setting for a backrest and a top in eco-skin; two side drawers, characterised by a thin edge in wood, further define the volumes. At the centre is a backlit folding mirror which, when opened, reveals rear shelves complete with integrated LED lighting. Practical USB sockets complete the accessories.
The vanity module can be used in combination with Blend or with other pieces of the Gliss Master collection.
505 UP SYSTEM
DESIGN BY NICOLA GALLIZIA
505 UP System, a classic Molteni&C design in the arena of modular systems for the living area, is still evolving to satisfy new housing styles typical of contemporary living.
Nicola Gallizia proposes a new door enriched with a full-height handle that becomes a profile that enhances the layout. The finishes include the coffee oak essence, and the exclusive 3D effect that can be customised in any of the Molteni&C range of colours.
The 505 Up System moves away from the classic bookcase function, expanding its solutions and turning into a modern furniture element for a contemporary living concept.
HI-LINE 6 FRAME DOOR
A compact, simple, and linear project. The Hi-Line 6 Frame Door, designed by the Dada Engineered R&D division, is far from the classic kitchen standards, adapting to numerous composition possibilities.
For the 2023 Collection, three new finishing proposals are added to the precious materials already available in the catalogue: the 3D lacquer, which gives a wavy effect to the composition, the rays wood, and the ceramic.