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Article: Behind the Scenes: The Craftsmanship of the Zanotta Quaderna Collection

Zanotta Quaderna

Behind the Scenes: The Craftsmanship of the Zanotta Quaderna Collection

Superstudio's ideas led to the creation of Zanotta's Quaderna Collection

In the heart of the transformative 1970s, a design movement was burgeoning in Florence, Italy, that would etch its mark on the world of luxury furniture. This was the era of Superstudio, a visionary group of architects and designers who dared to reimagine the relationship between space, function, and aesthetics. Their groundbreaking work gave birth to the Quaderna series, a collection that redefines elegance in simplicity. Today, let's embark on a journey through the story, craftsmanship, and enduring allure of the Zanotta Quaderna collection.

The Complete Collection of Quaderna Products 

These are the items that make up this rich and varied collection.

1. Quaderna 2600 - Square Dining Table
2. Quaderna 150 - Hand Tufted Rug
3. Quaderna 2750 - Desk with Retractable Drawer
4. Quaderna 2830 - Console/Writing Desk
5. Quaderna 476 - Floor Standing Mirror
6. Quaderna 656 - Square Coffee Table
7. Quaderna 710 - Low Console Table and High Console Table
8. Quaderna 756 - Sideboard
9. Quaderna 757 - Cupboard

Designing the Future: Zanotta's Groundbreaking Impact on Furniture Design

The Visionary Roots of Superstudio

Superstudio emerged in 1966, founded by the dynamic duo of Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia. Joined later by other creatives, this group was not just a collective of architects but a melting pot of diverse skills – from photography to film-making, painting to anthropology . In a post-war Florence pulsating with artistic and scientific fervor, Superstudio challenged the rigid functionalism dominating architectural thought, advocating a design philosophy that placed human experience at its core.

Creating the Quaderna Series

In this landscape of radical thought and experimentation, Superstudio conceived the Quaderna series. The collection, rooted in Superstudio's 'Histograms of Architecture', presented a revolutionary idea: objects defined by their spatial existence, transcending traditional functions. This concept, later produced by Zanotta as Quaderna, was a bold departure from conventional design paradigms.

quaderna zanotta

The Art of Craftsmanship

The Quaderna series stands as a testament to the seamless blend of industrial precision and artisanal skill. Each piece, from desks to tables, mirrors to carpets, encapsulates a meticulous process that harmonizes technological advancement with the human touch. The signature checkered design, crafted from white Print laminate, requires an artisan's precision to align every square meticulously. This dedication to craftsmanship ensures that each piece of the Quaderna collection not only serves a function but also tells a story of intricate artistry.

Designs that Speak Volumes

  • Quaderna Desk:

    • Concealed retractable drawer, carved from the top's thickness.
    • Drawer compartment in scratch-resistant, embossed wood painted black.
    • Internal features include side spaces for pens and pencils.
    • Spacious enough to store a laptop and A3 paper.
    • Fitted with a retraction mechanism for perfect closure.
    • Recess grip under the middle of the drawer for easy opening​.
  • Quaderna Console Table:

    • Supported by two side panels forming a continuous orthogonal bridge structure.
    • Front profiles of side panels and top thickness covered with a single laminate piece.
    • Joints only visible on the corners, enhancing the clean design​.
  • Hand-Tufted Carpet:

    • Made with 0.9 cm high, 100% wool yarn for a velvety feel.
    • Perimeter edging hand-finished with black wool thread on all six sides.
    • Design replicates a sketch from the Cristiano Toraldo di Francia Archives, showing an isometric Axonometric projection​.
  • 'Measuring Mirror':

    • Inspired by the 'Measuring Mirror' sculpture module.
    • Features a 5 mm thick plate glass.
    • Perimetrically contained by a frame in white Print laminate wood, digitally printed with black squares.
    • Floor-standing and fastened to the wall​.
  • Living Area Cabinet:

    • Ideal as a TV cabinet, measuring 204x51x54 cm.
    • Constructed in white Print laminate wood with black square digital printing.
    • Features four hinged doors and internal black laminate plating.
    • Adjustable internal shelves made from 10 mm thick tempered plate glass.
    • Equipped with cable entries on the back panel​.
  • Dining Room Service Unit:

    • Measures 102x42x105 cm, perfect for dining room use.
    • Structure in white Print laminate wood, digitally printed with black squares.

These items in the Zanotta Quaderna collection showcase the series' dedication to functional elegance and innovative design, reflecting the visionary approach of Superstudio and the craftsmanship of Zanotta.

quaderna table

Material and Aesthetics: A Symbiotic Relationship

At the heart of the Quaderna collection is the synergy between material and design. The use of white Print laminate, with its isotropic checkered pattern, is not just a material choice but a design statement. It represents the collection's commitment to a minimalist aesthetic that is both neutral and impactful, allowing the furniture to blend into and enhance any space it inhabits.

A Legacy That Endures

Decades since its inception, the Quaderna series continues to evolve, incorporating new elements while staying true to its foundational principles. It stands as a symbol of a design philosophy that values the creative freedom within the boundaries of meticulous, rule-based craftsmanship. In each piece, one can sense Superstudio's pursuit of a life built on 'calibrated and lucid magical gestures'.

zanotta quaderna furniture

The Zanotta Quaderna collection is not just a series of furniture. It is a celebration of a design ethos that has transcended time, a tribute to the art of craftsmanship, and a beacon of how visionary thought can shape the world around us. As we look at these pieces, we are reminded of the power of design to transform not just spaces but also perspectives, bringing past and present while always gazing towards the future.

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