The Marenco sofa’s unique design and wide modularity mean it has been at the forefront of modern furniture design since the 1970s.
At the height of his success, Italian designer Mario Marenco had created exhibition stands for Alfa Romeo, designed watches for Ferrari and starred on TV as an actor and humorist. But among his many varied careers and successes, his legacy lives on in one of his most recognised designs; the Marenco armchair and sofa collection for Arflex.
Born in 1933, Marenco studied architecture in Naples before opening his own architecture atelier, DEWG Studio in Rome, where he specialised in community buildings. By the 1970s, Marenco was well on his way as an established designer, working with notable brands including Arflex, Artemide, B&B and Poltrona Frau. Itâ€™s during this time that he dreamt up the Marenco sofa.
At first glance, the sofaâ€™s eight oversized, cloud-like cushions appear almost comically comfortable. But the beauty of Marencoâ€™s groundbreaking furniture piece lies in the innovative design. The seat and armrest cushions are built into a metal frame, creating the perfect balance of rigidity, resistance and comfort when seated on the sofa.
Relaunched in 2018 by Arflex and available at Studio Italia, the iconic sofa has been given an even more sumptuous design using contemporary production methods. Every inch of the Arflex Marenco sofa has been carefully covered and padded to elevate the feeling of softness and comfort, while the base of multi-plywood and fibre cover maintains strength and rigidity. In this relaunched version, the luxurious covers are fully removable, delivering modern flexibility and functionality.
Five decades on and Marencoâ€™s pioneering collection has been internationally recognised in the history halls of furniture design, a reputation cemented by his collaboration with Arflex. Founded by a group of technicians and architects in 1947, Arflex has been at the forefront of modern furniture design since its inception, and Marencoâ€™s design is an embodiment of that marriage of innovation, experimentation and elegance.
The Marenco Sofa is available at Studio Italia, studioitalia.co.nz