Camaleonda Returns for a Reissue After 50 Years - Lifestyle Asia

The famed modular sofa is back and better five decades after its first release

When it first made its appearance in 1970, the Cameleonda instantly became an icon, winning the approval of the public and critics. It can be considered as Mario Bellini’s pièce de résistance, dictating the aesthetics of an entire era of interior design and furniture. 

Photo courtesy of Creative Director and Photographer, Rich Stapleton

The Camaleonda owes its popularity to its distinct form and function; it’s a sofa intended to be an architectural element, capable of transforming the landscape of the interior space that it inhabits. “Camaleonda is a name that I invented in 1970 by mixing two words: the first is the name of an extraordinary animal, the chameleon (camaleonte in Italian), that can adapt to the environment around it, and the word ‘onda,’ wave, that indicates the curve of the sea and the desert. Both these words describe the shape and function of this sofa,” explained Mario Bellini.

Five decades since its launch, the distinguished Cameleonda admired by design aficionados, antique dealers, and interior decorators alike is making a remarkable return. B&B Italia’s Research & Development Centre and Mario Bellini have collaborated closely on a modern Camaleonda while preserving the elements that have made it a contemporary classic: the 90×90 cm seat module, and the backrest and armrest whose original cutting pattern was used for the new edition.

Future nostalgia

Photo courtesy of B&B Italia

The generous polyurethane padding that forms the characteristic capitonné design remains unchanged. It is still manufactured with the innovative system of cables, hooks, and rings created by Bellini in 1970, which defines the sofa’s character and modularity. Through the tie-rods and the rings, the modules can be unhooked and recombined at will, allowing the sofa to adapt to an evolving taste and to the dynamic needs of those using it.

The padding has been thoroughly updated by the B&B Italia’s Research & Development Centre, making it even more comfortable than the original version. The new Camaleonda can be upholstered with B&B Italia’s entire textile and leather collection, allowing for another variable in the multitude of possible combinations.

The new classic

Photo courtesy of B&B Italia

The new edition of the Camaleonda does not look back to the past, but rather it aims to rewrite an indisputable classic in a neoteric perspective. The seat, backrests, armrests, and bases are made of wooden panels. The sofa rests on the floor on a series of spherical feet made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified beech wood.

The padding of the seat, the backrests, and the armrests are made of polyurethane in various levels of density and firmness. The fluctuating layers generate empty spaces or pockets designed to create a comfortable spring effect. The engineering and composition of the seat, referred to as the “sandwich” structure, allow the interior elements of the sofa to be disassembled, enabling easy customization of the sofa’s form.

A comfy companion

Photo courtesy of B&B Italia

The flexible nature of the Camaleonda is completed by the Gli Scacchi. These chess pieces are a series of accessories designed by Mario Bellini to become additional tables or seats. “They are among the most playful pieces of furniture I have ever designed,” Bellini states, underlining the free and amusing spirit they bring to interiors. The three pieces that make up the series are inspired by the game of chess, specifically the queen, the knight, and the rook. Hence, the Italian names Regina, Cavallo, and Torre. These accessories are light and easy to move, like sliding them across a chessboard.

The shape of the three elements elaborates on and develops the parallelepipedon, through structures made of soft polyurethane that perfectly synchronize with the dimensions of the Camaleonda. These accessories also offer soft covers made of thick leather and calf hide with visible stitching. At the base, there is a sleek metallic profile, an element that defines the geometry of the article in contrast with its softness.

Photo courtesy of Creative Director and Photographer, Rich Stapleton

Mario Bellini’s unfading creation continues to hold the attention of design enthusiasts from the 1970 to the present day. The Camaleonda has been, and will continue to be an evergreen iconic vintage, surpassing the standards of generations. 

B&B Italia is exclusively distributed locally by Focus Global Inc. For more information, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Showrooms are located at the ground and 10th floors of Twenty-Four Seven McKinley Building, 24th Street corner 7th Avenue, BGC, Taguig. They are open from Monday to Saturday at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. For inquiries and to schedule a private tour, call 8-705-9999.

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