The Pyrenees sofa is Fredrikson Stallard’s first reinterpretation of upholstery. It is a very important piece in their career as it highlights their unorthodox and adventurous use of materials and also clearly underlines the practice’s platform of combining technology, craft and concept. Traditionally, polyurethane foam is used as the padding for the skeleton of a sofa, applied onto the hard frame and totally concealed with upholstery fabric. With the Pyrenees, Fredrikson Stallard have taken a solid block of this material, and hand carved the form in a sculptural way, creating spaces for five people to sit. By hand carving the material in this way, a mountain landscape emerges, whose visually rocky surface is contradicted by the softness of the foam. Fredrikson Stallard’s Pyrenees ironically plays with the notion of the hand made and was the pioneer of this particular way of manufacturing furniture.
”With the Pyrenees, the pieces are in a way sculptures by the artists, working with the material in an unorthodox way, allowing it to express itself by carving highly evocative forms. To us their true life beats underneath as a passport for new ways of allowing materials to exist. An honest approach we believe.”
Rather than simply upholstering the foam, it is coated with a specially developed high tech rubber coating, which prevents the foam from tearing. This is then coated with upholstery grade flock fibers, giving the piece a sensual velvet finish. The process of flocking also gives the designers an enormous creative freedom as they can create unique colours. With the forest green Pyrenees, Fredrikson Stallard use a combination of short black fibers and longer yellow fibers, this gives a lustrous green effect which shines gold as the edges and peaks catch the light. The sofa is itself clamped in a steel stand, reminiscent of museum stands used to display fossils or precious rocks, again referencing its geological qualities.
The Pyrenees was launched at Fredrikson Stallard’s inaugural solo show with David Gill Galleries in London in 2007. In 2011, a forest green Pyrenees was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for their permanent collection.
Polyurethane Foam, Steel
Forest Green, Black
W220 x D100 x H80cm (W87 x D39 x H31in)
8 + 2 Artist Proof + 2 Prototype, David Gill Gallery