In celebration of the company’s centenary, Poltrona Frau has recently inaugurated its museum in Tolentino, Northern Italy. The Poltrona Frau Museum, designed by Michele De Lucchi, is a rigorous industrial architecture created inside the Poltrona Frau facility. On display is a collection of furniture, drawings, images and materials never before displayed to the public. An area of 1400 sqm of design and “l’intelligenza delle mani” – ‘the intelligence of its hands’.
The choice of location represents a homage to this area of the Marche, which became the adopted home of the company – founded in Turin by Renzo Frau in 1912 – in the early 1960’s. A strong bond that has become stronger over almost 50 years thanks to the expertise of the regional manufacturing industry and the involvement of the local community. The epitome of Italian excellence, for which Poltrona Frau is an ambassador across the world.
At the entrance there’s the cafeteria complete with books to browse through and consult, and on the right a fascinating introduction to the actual exhibit presented on nine video totems. A wall created with countless overlapping pieces of leather provides the material backdrop, a condensed sensorial presentation of surfaces and colours.
The historic heart of the museum features a city of spectacular towers of different heights, four, six and eight metres tall, made from wood, covered with semi-transparent ecru fabric and warmly lit from the inside. Like huge out-of-scale lanterns, which help create an almost magical atmosphere and light the different paths through the museum. Amidst the icons of Poltrona Frau. From Chester to Juliet, eleven in all, arranged in a chronological and fluid sequence. Each enclosed in a tower. Naked. Illuminated by a simple spotlight.
Original pieces, which show signs of life and living. Lights, details and flooring philologically allude to the mood of the moment. On the other side is a showcase full of original documents, postcards, advertisements, catalogues, sketches and designs that complete the story of the company and provide insight on the international context of moods, ideas and key events at the time. The exhibition is about Poltrona Frau and its encounter with different eras.
The exhibit continues with the world of cars, yachts, airplanes and helicopters where the historic leather culture that distinguishes the company is articulated in the complete upholstery of the interiors. The room featuring Interiors in Motion displays the most prestigious projects for top international businesses such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Pershing, Italo and Etihad Airways. The exhibition is based on the structure of the Contract room with a coup de théâtre. A Ferrari California is positioned in the centre of the space and the scene.
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