Minimalism can be boring to some due to its lack of details or even the lack of design or materials. Simplicity is key in Minimalist designs and its often the subtleties that captures the audience. Jean-Marie Massaud approached it in a different way. Although the French Design Maestro had never being an advocate of loud designs, his 2011 interpretation of a minimalistic padded Armchair and side chair strikes with its selection of stunningly bold upholstery colours. I am referring to the Achille Armchair/Chair which he designed for MDF Italia.
The Achille’s metal tubing frame creates the simplistic, yet beautiful form. The entire chair is available either as a fully upholstered chair (including its legs) or with exposed chrome finished legs. The upholstery is fully removable for easy maintenance. The chair is thinly padded with polyurethane foam for comfort and added luxury to a Minimalist Chair.
The design of the Achille Chair is based on a monolithic form that doesn’t keep your eyes busy scanning the design for details. The singular form of the arm and back rests flows smoothly down to the front legs when viewed from the front. When viewed from the back, the Achille looks as if carved from a single piece of material, very much like how a B&B Italia Papilio series of lounge chairs looked with the single piece of upholstery covering the entire chair from top to bottom. But the Achille Chair does have that little bit more detail than the Papilio Chairs with a seemingly separate seat and the 2 stitch lines running top-down at the back rests to form part of the design, like that of a Giorgetti Progetti Bloom Armchair.
With its wide proportions, in my opinion, the Achille is pretty suitable to be put in place of a proper armchairs if space is an issue, especially with the rising trend of shoebox apartments in Singapore. Placing a 2-seater sofa and a Achille Armchair would make the tiny Living Rooms look relatively comfortable. Proportions is what counts in the making small living spaces look stylish and comfortable (at least, visually). Well, when I say small spaces, I mean really small apartments (< 500 Square Feet to contain 1 relatively large balcony, 1 small living room, 1 small bedroom, 1 small kitchenette and 1 small bath). I do not know why there are many people in Singapore loving such apartments. Yes, they may be low in quantum for a freehold (note that freehold private properties are really rare in Singapore) apartment, but given the same costs, I would rather pay for a public HDB apartment that is 3 times the size with 3 bedrooms to boot!
Oops, sorry for drifting off topic. 🙂 Coming back to the MDF Italia Achille Chair, it is one of my favourites chairs that exudes some of the best Minimalist charms I had seen with its subtle and minimal design that screams out loud with its bright upholstery colours. This contrast forms a cool and contemporary feel, without the need to complicate your senses with twists and turns of complex geometries. One will most likely find its way to my home.