Colorful and Curvy: Curul Chair and Sofa by Arco da Velha

Most people in the world can be divided into two camps, based on whether they love or hate Helvetica, that Swiss sans-serif font that took over the world in the late 1950s. For those who do indeed favor this font, the signature lower-case “a” is perhaps the most beloved letter. Simple at first glance, the Helvetica “a” includes just enough curvature to make the letter quite daring. The slope of the letter, and all its consequent negative space, is sexy and unforgettable. I am reminded of this letter when I look at the Curul Chair and Curul Sofa by the new Portuguese furniture company entitled Arco da Velha.

Curul Sofa. Manufactured by Arco da Velha.

Simple and Sinuous Portuguese Design

Curul Sofa. Manufactured by Arco da Velha.

The solid sides of both Curul pieces feature a whimsical slope. This gets intensified in the Curul Sofa, which offers a reflection of itself, since the top half sits on top of its double, which is turned upside down. The Curul Chair, however, may echo Helvetica even more, because its legs resemble the downslope of the lower-case “a” (in general, the four curvy legs remind me of a font’s descenders). The result of all this sinuousness is furniture that hides a bit of whimsy beneath a façade of strict form. While both the Curul Chair and the Curul Sofa eschew ornamentation, they also include touches of fun with the playful curves and unexpected colors.

Curul Sofa. Manufactured by Arco da Velha.Curul Sofa. Manufactured by Arco da Velha.

Enchanting as the above pieces are, they really only represent the proverbial tip of Arco de Velha’s iceberg. The company’s recent debut featured six other pieces in addition to the Curul Sofa and Chair. Standouts among these further offerings include the Waves Rolling Bookcase–whose interior shelf configuration resembles a geometric take on the notion of lunar pull; the complementary Lura Loveseat, compiled of concentric cuboids and outfitted in the same vibrant green/white pallet as Waves; and the Osbourne Bureau, an impressively-proportioned piece in wooden laminate and OSB that–with a cascading crescendo of open drawers–reminds me of inverted piano keys.

Curul Sofa. Manufactured by Arco da Velha.

About the Manufacturer: Arco da Velha is a new Portuguese design furniture brand whose pieces are the result of three years of designing and prototyping. The contemporary line of products explores different materials, contemporary forms, and playful hues: “Proof of the irreverent spirit of the AdV creators in the material and colour blending game, the focus to show the dual dimensions in most of their furniture pieces is very clear. The lightfull and soft exteriors contrast with the colourfull and sometimes intriguing interiors.” From couches and lounge chairs to shelving and vases, Arco da Velha offers a different perspective.

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