As we continue to tour the public spaces at Optima® communities to highlight the curated collection of Modernist furnishings, such as the Eames chair, or tulip table, etc. We find it just as important to highlight recent advances of Modernist furniture design, propelled forward by the likes of Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, and so many other masters of design. Today we introduce you to the OPERA chair at Optima Lakeview®, by SOFTLINE.
SOFTLINE has been creating and producing innovatively designed furniture for a global market since 1979. The enterprise was founded as a division of K. Balling-Engelsen A/S, a Danish producer of technical polyurethane foam. For decades, this high-quality, flexible foam has been the material of choice for furniture production due to its unique properties.
In 2003, they became an independent, privately-owned enterprise with a factory in Denmark, where the upholstery is performed by hand, based on Scandinavian traditions and utilizing eco-friendly materials.
The OPERA chair designed by Busk+Herzog serves a symphony of possibilities at Optima Lakeview® in its ability to elegantly blend modern and contemporary styles. From its high armrests, to provide privacy for all matters of which you may want to hide, to its backrest and cushion that completely envelopes your body.
The OPERA can also be used as a versatile lounge chair in larger configurations, much like PLANET, or in smaller configurations like PIERCE. Both of these elegant iterations can be found together just steps away at Optima Kierland® in Scottsdale. The OPERA chair provides a human-scale sense of privacy, as well as a space for contemplation or conversation in our business center. This striking piece is the perfect place for our residents to relax in solitude without being completely separated from friends, and we’re delighted to include this iconic design to Optima’s® Modernist collection!
As with all of the exquisitely curated furniture selections at Optima, the focus is always on comfort and functionality, timeless minimalist design, flawless engineering and superb materials The NOOMI chair, the brainchild of renowned Danish designer, Susanne Grønlund, is no exception, and fits handsomely into the interior spaces of our latest development, Optima Lakeview.
Since 1991, Grønlund and her studio in Aarhaus, Denmark have earned a reputation for innovative, thoughtful design that’s rooted in Scandinavian traditions. In creating her Noomi Swivel chair in 2013, she set out to combine aesthetics with practicality. Recognizing that people want to sit comfortably AND easily turn to speak to others in an intimate setting, Grønlund designed a soothing, smooth-swiveling chair on a 360-degree base.
With references to branches on a tree, the delicate and slightly bent legs seize the upper part of the NOOMI Chair and create a strong graphic expression where steel and fabric meet in harmony. The frame is light, but distinctive with an elegant humanly-contoured shape that makes the soft, rounded upper part of the chair — with its strong backrest and traditional manual padding — look like it’s hovering above the floor.
With the focus on form and function, Grønlund took great pains to ensure maximum comfort with the NOOMI Chair. The angle of the backrest to the seat has been carefully resolved, and the wide armrests are comfortable. The chair invites various sitting positions as it signals the priorities of comfort and rest.
With such flawless design, it isn’t a surprise that the NOOMI chair has garnered a number of awards, including the Good Design® Award (2017) and German Design Award (2018).
We’re not only happy to have NOOMIs welcoming residents in Optima Lakeview but in many of our other communities at Optima, where the ideals of form and function continue to inspire all of us.
One of the ways we honor the Forever Modern promise and keep it relevant at Optima is by curating both public and residential spaces in our communities with timeless furniture. As we put the finishing touches on the furniture selections for the lobby and model apartments at Optima Lakeview, it’s a perfect time to take a closer look at the Womb™ Chair.
In 1946, Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect who led the furniture empire Knoll Associates with her husband Hans, reached out to friend and fellow architect Eero Saarinen to design a lounge chair for the company. In numerous interviews following the release of the chair, Knoll explained, “I told Eero I was sick and tired of the one-dimensional lounge chair … long and narrow … I want a chair I can sit in sideways or any other way I want to sit in it.” She envisioned “a chair that was like a basket of pillows … something I could really curl up in.”
Originally named No. 70, the chair quickly took on its more intuitive name as people raved about its countless positions and the deep sense of comfort and tranquility it provides. “There seemed to be a need for a large and really comfortable chair to take the place of the old overstuffed chair,” Saarinen explained. “Today, more than ever before, we need to relax.”
Apart from its novel appearance, the Womb™ chair is also highly innovative from a structural perspective. To achieve a balance between comfort and a modernist silhouette, Saarinen wanted to construct the chair out of a single piece of material. This led him to a groundbreaking new material that had recently been developed to produce minimalistic, yet-durable hulls for Navy vessels during World War II. He then turned to a New Jersey boat builder to use this reinforced-fiberglass-and-resin to produce a prototype of the cropped, folded cone shape he had designed. The final result — a padded and upholstered fiberglass shell that sits on a polished chrome steel frame — combined simplicity of shape with true comfort and flexibility.
Once released, the Womb™ chair quickly became a cultural icon. A 1958 Coca-Cola advertising campaign showed Santa Claus drinking a Coke in a Womb™ chair. The chair also made an appearance in a New Yorker cartoon as well as a Saturday Evening Post cover by American Painter, Norman Rockwell.
Discover the iconic Womb™ Chairs as part of our invitation to “Expect the Extraordinary” when you visit Optima Lakeview. Experience for yourself what it means to lounge in absolute comfort and modernist simplicity, just as Eero Saarinen and Florence Knoll imagined 75 years ago.