AC Lounge ~ Same, but Different

Recently, I came across a webpage where a picture resembling a Maxalto Simpliciter Sofa was sold. Well, I guess this has to be a replica. In the same range of Sofa sold by this manufacturer, was an armchair that has a stitched buttoned back rest. I was like, “Geeze… that was a bad replica of the Maxalto Simpliciter Armchair”. Then, I came across the picture of a B&B Italia Project product. It is called, the AC Lounge.

B&B Italia Project AC Lounge Armchair

Maxalto Simpliciter Armchair. Do you find them very different or do feel that they look so similar?

Designed in 2009 by Antonio Citterio for the B&B Italia Project brand that caters designer furnishing for the contract market, the AC Lounge comes in a 3-Seater and 2-Seater Lounge as well as an Armchair and Ottoman, very much like a Maxalto Simpliciter Series. Upon initial visual inspection, both the Maxalto Simplciter and the B&B Italia Project AC Lounge looks to be of the same design, bar the stitched buttoned back rest. This actually stirred my interest in this design. These 2 sofas look so different just with an addition of a back rest. Lovers will call it ingenious design. By adding a component changes both the form and function of the sofa and armchair. Haters will probably label it as ridiculous to even differentiate these 2 sofas designs while keeping the same name for very different designs such as the Eileen’03 and Eileen’04 side tables.

Well, as a fan of the Master of Anti-Design, I have to admit that I belong to the “Lovers” category. Well, the rationale from both camps are still logical no matter how you see it. So, it’s really a subjective matter. Now, take a look at the range of B&B Italia Project AC Lounge above. Don’t they look like Knoll’s Florence Knoll Lounge Series below? Versatile or too much similarity? It depends on which camp you are from. 🙂

OK, let’s go further into the design. Like the Maxalto Simpliciter, the AC Lounge basically have the same frames, stitched buttoned seat cushion design and legs designs. The only exceptions are that the AC Lounge comes with an extra nickel finishing option that was not available for the Maxalto Simpliciter and the higher stitched buttoned back rests which gives better support compared to the pillow cushions of Maxalto Simpliciter. The downside for a Minimalist advocate like me would be that the added back rests of the B&B Italia Project AC Lounge would be the added bulk to the otherwise slim and minimalist design. In fact, in one of my first posts, the AC Lounge does look very similar to a Knoll Florence Knoll Lounge Seating.

The 2-Seater Lounge variant of the AC Lounge

The 3-Seater Lounge variant.

A closer look at the details of the AC Lounge.

Nevertheless, it’s a cool idea to put a Maxalto Simpliciter 3-Seater Lounge Sofa with a B&B Italia Project AC Lounge Armchair in the living room to create that mild contrast between the 2 different designs. Well, when you feel like having a Maxalto Simpliciter Armchair instead, just replace the back rest with the pillow cushion from the Simpliciter for that uniform look. 🙂

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