What do we look for in a lounge chair? First, the beauty. Is the design aesthetic? Then the materials. How is it made? How does it feel? How long will it last? Then we have the all important function. Does it work well? Is it comfortable? Is it simple to use? These may seem like pretty simple questions, but answering them through a design language is always a challenge. A challenge that French designer Grégoire de Lafforest overcame with one of his latest offerings.
The design of the Opper lounge chair is based on the notion of balance between weights and lines. It is a play of contrasts between the lightweight seat and the raw strength and heaviness of the Carrara marble plinth, and between the hard coldness of marble and the warm softness of leather. These two very different elements come together through a play of symmetry of the curves creating a large backrest at the seat and a tablet in the continuity of the base.
To contrast with the curves of the seat and create tension in the shape, the central axis of the seat is highlighted by the changes in materials. The overall appearance of the lounge chair is clean and precise, but comfort is not forgotten. With a set of foams of different densities, comfort is optimal and contrasts with the visual impression of stiffness.
Inspired by the motorcycle saddles of the 70s, the quilted seat brings an impression of comfort and a refined aesthetic. The marble base gives the impression of a raw solid block but by going around the back we discover, as you would behind a theatre set, that it is hollowed out and allows one to store a set of three cushions or indeed blankets if you prefer. The chair is the alliance between contemporary design and traditional materials. A mixture of tradition and modernity.
A trained architect and designer, Grégoire de Lafforest’s work has seen him build a portfolio of furniture and accessories that exude simplicity through soft geometries and neutral palettes. Grégoire has a well established relationship with Hermès where he contributed to the design of its head office in Paris, and continues to design furniture for their collections.
At the same time, he is developing his own interior architecture and furniture projects which have earned him multiple awards and recognised as a “Talent de l’élégance” award at the Sommet du Luxe et de la Création.