Design Classic: The A.B.C. Armchair

Designed for easy living, the A.B.C. follows its creator’s maxims to the letter.

Designer: Antonio Citterio, 1996.

Details: Metal and fabric armchair with leather-wrapped arms, £4,472, Flexform.

Surfing the trend for superior design with a radical edge, Citterio’s A.B.C. armchair is a signature piece of Modernist style, updating the tubular metal constructions of pioneers such as Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe.

Like his predecessors, Antonio Citterio is an architect by profession and product designer by inclination, teaming the two disciplines to create aesthetically pleasing furniture that is as swoon-inducing as it is sleekly structural.

The A.B.C. is a prime example, introducing patented technology that allows the backrest and seat cushion to extend backwards and forwards, so maximising comfort, while keeping the mechanics hidden from view.

Being Italian, of course, the finishes are to die for, with the metal frame available stained, in chrome or burnished (as pictured here), and upholstery ranging from tactile cashmere and nubock leather to cool cotton, linen and velvet.

But the secret of the A.B.C.’s success isn’t just down to its Latin good looks – Citterio’s products have an idealistic ethos, too.

‘I make things for myself,’ he says. ‘If I can’t surround myself with pieces that please me, I don’t make them – it’s that simple.’

Designed for easy living, the A.B.C. follows its creator’s maxims to the letter.

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