At Design Miami: Oeuverture Sofa

At Design Miami: Oeuverture Sofa

Among the jaw-dropping novelties at Design Miami, there may be one item that rings a tad familiar.

Detailed side view with greyish cushion and black frame

Side View of Oeuverture Sofa

If you don’t recognize it from this detailed side view, perhaps a full-on image of Oeuverture in all its Poltrona Frau plushness will jog your memory.

Oeuverture sofa front view beige/orange cushion

The year was 1982. “Come on Eileen” topped the charts. Big hair and big shoulder pads ruled the imaginations of the fashionista set. And this big beauty of a sofa by Pierluigi Cerri and Poltrona Frau managed to have its cake and eat it too.

Sofa in room next to wild painting with many colors and different humanoid figures in front of large window

Better said, Oeuverture (the name literally translates as “opening” but is also a coinage combining “oeuvre”—French for “body of work”—and “overture”) was and remains both industrial/streamlined and an homage to comfy excess, courtesy of the synchrony between its inventive steel frame and plush Pelle Frau-upholstered cushions.

Detailed view of under-side showing t-shaped steel frame
Oeuverture with white cushion on half

When Oeuverture debuted, it was characterized it as a Brutalist revive: “The sofa highlights the system of beliefs that conceived it, as a protest against bourgeois conformism.”

White sofa in large neo-classical gallery setting flanked by David statues

While I find the reasoning here a little muddled (how is a plush leather sofa any kind of statement of protest in 1982, when similar styles were all the rage?), the design is inventive, impressive, beautiful. How often is the under-side structure of a sofa the aesthetic headline?

rear view of sofa with rust/brown color

Perhaps it’s best not to analyze Oeuverture too much and just enjoy this re-issue for what it is: a deserving celebration of an iconic piece that’s every bit as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.

Oeuverture sofa in brown

Oeuverture’s 2022 iteration features ergonomically modified cushions that are less voluminous while offering more support. It’s available in leather and textile upholstery. Luminaire hosted Oeuverture in their booth at Design Miami, which just concluded on 12/4. See Poltrona Frau for additional information.

*Editor’s note: Pierluigi Cerri passed away on November 29 at the age of 83. We’d like to offer our condolences to his family. An architect and interiors pioneer, Mr. Cerri was a central figure in Milanese architecture and design for five decades. His influence was felt the world over. He will be sorely missed.

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