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MDW: Natuzzi Italia Celebrates New Collection in New Showroom and Protects the Apulian Olive Trees

MDW: Natuzzi Italia Celebrates New Collection in New Showroom and Protects the Apulian Olive Trees
The "square" in the center of the new Natuzzi Italia flagship store on via Durini in Milan. Courtesy of Natuzzi Italia.

In addition to the new eco-focused collection envisioned by Marcantonio and Marcel Wanders studio, Natuzzi creates awareness of the current epidemic against the Apulian olive trees.

June 6, 2022—For Milan Design Week 2022, in parallel with Salone del Mobile, Italian brand Natuzzi welcomed guests at its new showroom on via Durini where the new sustainable collection by Marcantonio and Marcel Wanders Studio was on display. The company worked with architect Fabio Novembre to revamp the interior of the building, resulting in a most divine reflection of the brand’s relationship with the Mediterranean and Italian culture. 

The new pieces in The Circle of Harmony – Second Life collection can be found in various rooms along with a special selection of the brand’s iconic pieces in a new version, enriched by the new eco-fiber collection of upholstery, 100% sustainable. Yet, the center of the showroom acted as a courtyard where a large number of visitors gathered, some of whom sat on the new Adam sofa by Marcel Wanders Studio, discussing the artistic photographs of olive trees displayed across the courtyard. 

The installation Germogli by Marcantonio—4m tall gigantic sprouts made with a reflective golden surface and placed in the outdoor courtyard of the Palazzo Durini Caproni di Taliedo—and the photographic exhibition TRE(E)PIDATION by fashion photographer Giampaolo Ggura will contribute to the protection of Apulian olive trees from the Xylella epidemic; once the photographs are sold, the money will be donated to the NGO Save the Olives association, the first that has activated awareness and projects in support to save olive trees. 

Four-meter tall gigantic sprouts made with a reflective golden surface by Marcantonio. Courtesy of Natuzzi Italia.

The Xylella epidemic has been infesting the Apulian olive trees for several years, killing millions of specimens. This tragic occurrence is the theme around which the photographic exhibition by Giampaolo Sgura revolves. The artist created 3 iconic images of olive pictures to celebrate the beauty, strength and energy of the ancient Apulian olive trees and fix in the memory a landscape that risks disappearing forever and with it a part of the history and of the Mediterranean culture. As an Apulian, Sgura is particularly linked to the territory and decided to set his project in the Piana degli Ulivi, between Ostuni and Monopoli.

Apulia is known by its Italian name Puglia, a region of Italy located in the southern peninsular section of the country, where the Natuzzi headquarters is located. In fact, the essence of every product made by the company has had the Apulian and Mediterannean culture embedded in its heart and soul. With this in mind, Architect Fabio Novembre designed the new flagship store on via Durini as a means of celebrating the culture and ambiance of Apulia.

“We created a piazza as you can find in a small Italian village in Apulia,” Fabio Novembre said during a brief speech to the room full of guests. 

The interior square is surrounded by the iconic lights typical of the Apulian culture and defined by a series of arches that recall the traditional architecture of the region; the space hosts a multi-functional lounge available for meetings with customers and for the virtual 3D experience. The rooms, four dedicated to the living area and three to the total living proposals, evoke the typical elements of the Apulian landscapes, the farms, the olive trees, and the warm light on the sea.

Giampaolo Sgura created 3 iconic images of olive pictures. The Adam sofa by Marcel Wanders Studio. Courtesy of Natuzzi Italia.

The New Collection: The Circle of Harmony – Second Life

Natuzzi Creative Direction Pasquale Junior Natuzzi worked with Italian art designer Marcantonio, behind the Terra pouf, and Dutch studio Marcel Wanders studio on the Adam collection. The Circle of Harmony project began in 2019, and the Second Life collection represents the third edition in this line, acting as a reflection on how to orient the production of furnishings toward a level of sustainability that is consistently more coherent and definitive.

“The goal is to bring life to a more informed design and production process. Creating a timeless beauty capable of crossing time itself,” Pasquale Junior Natuzzi stated in a press release, creative director of the company. “A collection of targeted pieces designed to last a lifetime, with the green idea of reducing pollution, creating materials that get to live an invaluable second life: recycled, reused, rethought; objects where functionality and aesthetics coexist in perfect balance. To live a second life in harmony, at last.”

“A collection of targeted pieces designed to last a lifetime, with the green idea of reducing pollution, creating materials that get to live an invaluable second life: recycled, reused, rethought.”

Terra pouf. Courtesy of Natuzzi Italia.

The Terra pouf is the second collaboration between Marcantonio and Natuzzi Italia and challenged the designer to implement the new Natuzzi design philosophy according to the Second Life ideology, based on the need to reconsider the world of furniture with greater awareness, taking into account the materials, the process, and the context. 

Terra (Earth) was designed to have zero environmental impact, a chamfered form, rounded lines, and a softness evoking the shapes of an olive on the red soil of Puglia. The ends of the seat and the backrest are connected by light straps which create an unanticipated circularity and underlie the entire project. 

“The name derives from the fact that it is a pouf inspired by the earth and for the earth,” Marcantonio stated in a press release. “Terra lies on the floor, simply in contact with the ground, without structures. With its armrests, it recalls a hug to our planet and to the right causes to defend it. Terra also because Natuzzi made me experience the heritage of his land, Puglia, from whose simplicity and naturalness this project was born.”

The inner core of the product, without structures and frames, is made of recycled polystyrene, considered one of the most recyclable and circular materials; the upholstery is available in the Water range, the sustainable fabric resulting from the collaboration with the Dutch textile innovation studio BYBORRE, and in the new the eco-fiber collection presented by Natuzzi at Milan Design Week, whose main characters are Gaia and Origami. 

Adam collection. Courtesy of Natuzzi Italia.

On its fourth collaboration with Natuzzi Italia, Marcel Wanders Studio designed the Adam collection which includes a sofa, a dining table and a coffee table. The pieces were born from the desire to integrate sustainable materials with a timeless design inspired by Puglia. 

The wooden base gives the sofa a natural, handcrafted appearance, while the large seat and backrest cushions, with their soft, rounded lines, are upholstered with Ecolympha by Olmo polyurethane made up exclusively of natural and biocompatible materials. Comfort is expanded by a series of manual mechanisms which make it possible to adjust the position and angle of the armrests and the headrest.

The natural inspirations coming from the Mediterranean lifestyle, are also evident in the Adam dining table which, like the sofa, is characterized by organic and rounded shapes. The generously sized top with rounded edges, made to accommodate conviviality, is available in two sizes and two different versions: one in solid honey-colored ash wood, the other in the spatula finish Lecce stone, an innovative texture created with a sustainable blend of clay, recycled marble dust and acrylic binders that gives the table a particularly natural look. The legs, abstractions of simple geometric shapes with a strong impact, match the top while a central crosspiece joins them guaranteeing stability and giving an incisive aesthetic touch. The same concept is found in the Adam coffee tables, available in three different variations of width and height.

Adam dining table. Courtesy of Natuzzi Italia.

Eco-fiber Coverings, a Series of New Fibers

The Second Life concept is also expressed in the new collection of sustainable coverings presented by Natuzzi Italia. Following the 2020 launch of the collaboration with the Dutch textile innovation studio BYBORRE, which gave rise to the collection of Water fabrics – made with a thread that combines the highest quality of wool with recycled PES – this year, the brand presents a series of new fibers designed to attain the maximum positive impact on the environment and on man: Gaia and Origami. 

Gaia is an experimental vegan fiber that strikingly reproduces the texture of the leather: the extreme innovation of Coronet, a company that produces technical materials with a high focus on sustainability, meets Natuzzi’s artisanal excellence in leather processing creating a complete and harmonious fusion between tradition and modernity. The Coronet material, thanks to Natuzzi’s unique experience in this field, undergoes a process similar to tanning, producing an eco-fiber upholstery with a unique touch that represents a new and revolutionary page in the company’s long history. Made from GRS-certified recycled plastic and FSC-certified tree pulp viscose, the fabric is characterized by an unprecedented radiance and softness. 

Origami is a fabric primarily made up of paper fibers joined to a nylon-flocked chenille fabric on the back. The paper fiber, originating from Japan – where there is a strong tradition in processing this material – is an ecological and sustainable product that is 100% natural and does not require the use of chemical substances for its unrefined production. Thanks to a double-dying process, which first involves the paper part and then the nylon part of the back of the chenille, Origami is available in a wide variety of unique textures. Natural and resistant, with the feel of linen, Origami has intrinsic fire-retardant qualities thanks to the paper that does not combust, but rather immediately becomes ash, a characteristic that also makes its disposal sustainable.

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