Mario Bellini tours China A Passion Called ‘Project’: an authentic account where design meets architecture

December 2015: After his first visit in 2014, the Italian architect Mario Bellini returns to China with Cassina and debuts in Beijing and Chengdu to speak about his longstanding relationship with the brand and the international projects which have made him one of the most influential architects of our time.
Following a presentation to design enthusiasts and industry insiders at the Cassina monobrand store at the North Easy Home Furniture Mall in Beijing on the 16th of December 2015, Bellini will continue to Chengdu where he will host a special evening at the newly opened Upper Gallery restaurant on the 18th of December 2015.
The Upper Gallery has been exclusively furnished by Cassina with iconic pieces such as the Veliero bookshelf by Franco Albini, the Ventaglio table by Charlotte Perriand, and the Cab chairs by Mario Bellini.

More than 500,000 iconic Cab chairs produced to date, a legend in design history
One of Bellini’s most recognizable pieces, and a Cassina best-seller with over 500,000 produced to date, is the Cab chair designed in 1977. The Cab is conceived as an extension of the human body and through this harmonious relationship the chair is - according to Bellini - one of the pieces of furniture most deeply rooted in our collective memory.
Cassina’s craftsmanship expertise is evidenced in the workmanship of the saddle leather which fits like a glove over the chair’s metal skeleton, and is defined with a zip that runs around the profile of its legs. The structural and organic design of this piece has withstood the test of time and continues to be the subject of many imitations.
The Cab chair has been reintroduced this year in an extended palette of colours (16 in total) making the collection more youthful and versatile for any space.

New additions to a modern classic, the Cab collection
This year the architect, just turned 80, has further strengthened his 50 year collaboration with Cassina in a sign of continuity. Just like the Cab family. Matured like a true icon, this range now extends to all areas of the home with the introduction of the Cab Lounge armchair and the Cab Night bed.

Cab Lounge: saddle leather made to measure, and live, like a tailored suit
The Cab Lounge, spacious and inviting, has been skilfully upholstered internally and externally in saddle leather.
The same concept developed for the Cab chair has in fact been transferred to the armchair: the saddle leather dresses the steel skeleton of the frame like a bespoke suit to perfectly support the sinuous shape of the body in a relationship of structural and organic symbiosis.
The upholstery, available in five colours of saddle leather (black, brown, taupe, China red and blue), is made up of 11 different pieces of saddle leather sewn together and closed with 4 zips.
The ergonomics of the Cab Lounge guarantee surprising comfort also thanks to the leather cushions attached to its interior which make it even softer. Particular attention has been paid to detail, from the visible stitching to the elegant saddle leather straps which fix the head cushion to the backrest.

Cab Night, an evolution to enrich the night-time area
The Cab Night brings the same richness of materials and attention to detail to the bedroom. The structure and the legs of the bed are upholstered in saddle leather, just like the other members of the family, and saddlery craftsmanship details are visible in the joints between the bed’s various parts.
The bed’s slightly tapered and padded headboard is characterised by a stitching feature which divides the left side from the right. It is upholstered in precious leather produced with a specific tanning process which makes it even softer, so that when one rests against it strong sensations of well-being are felt. The frame is also upholstered in soft leather with a particularly complex workmanship due to the thickness of the leather used.

Experimentation and innovation: a record for the most awards received in the design world
Bellini started collaborating with Cassina at a young age after a short design apprenticeship with “La Rinascente”, the prestigious Milanese department store. His first meeting with Cesare Cassina, where he proposed a table for which he had already won his first of eight Compasso d’Oro prizes, led to a strong relationship which can today be identified in a variety of innovative projects.

The experimental work carried out by Mario Bellini with Cassina in the 60’s and 70’s created some original and ground-breaking designs. Research of new materials and structural technology resulted in pieces like the timeless Break chair, conceived thanks to the application of a new type of polyurethane foam.

Mario Bellini’s passion and affinity for structural design can be particularly recognized in the tables designed for Cassina (La Rotonda, La Basilica and Pantheon) which further highlight the close relationship between furniture design and architecture. Made up of columns, pilasters and crossed beams, these complex masterpieces also enhance Cassina’s long heritage mastery in working with wood.