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Leva is the first timber chair designed by Foster + Partners.
Inspired by the efficiency of the form and materiality of an oar, Leva is designed ergonomically: its steam-bent arms, made of a single piece of machined timber, are slightly inclined, widening in the middle to form a comfortable, supportive backrest.
Leva’s seemingly simple shape is the result of complex surfacing that optimises the chair for mass production. The sparing use of material is rooted in the idea of sustainability – to do more with less.
Leva relies on Mattiazzi’s craftsmanship and sophisticated machinery to manufacture a wood chair that is quiet in numbers.
“The chair remains the archetypal furniture piece and one of the most difficult objects to design, requiring a deep understanding of form and comfort. It must be pleasing to the eye, able to fit a variety of settings from living rooms to restaurants, comfortable to sit on, and durable enough to last generations.” Mike Holland, Head of Industrial Design, Foster + Partners
- Foster + Partners UK c.2020
- Solid Ash of European origin
- Made in Italy
- Depth 52.8cm / 20.1"
- Width 56.4cm / 22.2"
- Back Height 76.3cm / 30"
- Arm Height 66cm / 26"
- Seat Height 45cm / 17.7"
Foster + Partners
Foster + Partners is a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design, rooted in sustainability, which was founded fifty years ago in 1967 by Norman Foster. Since then, he and the team around him have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation for thoughtful and pioneering design, working as a single studio that is both ethnically and culturally diverse. The studio integrates the skills of architecture with several other disciplines in a collegiate working environment that is similar to a compact university. These diverse skills make us capable of tackling a wide range of projects, particularly those of considerable complexity and scale.
The practice has never drawn a distinction between architecture and industrial design. The point of contact, the thing that you touch, is as important as the broader vision. The industrial design team established in 1980, has developed a wide range of products from door handles to wind turbines; from a fountain pen to the cabin of an executive jet; from a tap to the fit-out of an ocean yacht. Frequently, products are designed in response to a particular project, but we also work directly with clients on product commissions or with companies to develop new products for commercial manufacture.
Among contemporary furniture manufacturers, Mattiazzi, the family owned producer of wooden furniture in Udine, Italy, is uncommon. While many producers in that region rely on third party factories and work in diverse materials, Mattiazzi operates with their own machines and hands, and has developed a healthy obsession for woodworking. Since 1978, when brothers Nevio and Fabiano Mattiazzi founded the company, Mattiazzi has steadily cultivated its local manufacturing culture. Their network of wood shops is diverse enough to support any manufacturing process the brand may need. Every shop has its own focus, from milling to lacquering, and a particular process always belongs to a specific part of town. But don’t let the neighborhood approach confuse you: Mattiazzi is no backyard shop. Their highly specialized craftsmen operate the most sophisticated machinery available to the wood industry. An eight-axis CNC milling machine allows wood to take the complex shapes associated with injection-molded plastic. Operating such a machine is an art and Mattiazzi disproves the modern myth that mechanized manufacturing is not a craft.