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Modern Love
Berluti delivers colour and care to revive Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh furniture
Nick Vinson

For this year’s Design Miami fair, Kris Van Assche, creative director of the luxury leather brand Berluti, and François Laffanour, founder of Paris’ Laffanour Galerie Downtown, have joined forces to present a collection of original Pierre Jeanneret furniture pieces, restored by Laffanour and upholstered with Berluti’s emblematic Venezia leather.

The series consists of 17 pieces, all created by the Swiss architect in the 1950s to furnish the administrative buildings of Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex, the vast compound master-planned by his cousin and long-term collaborator Le Corbusier (see W*147).

Included are a ‘Base Building’ desk, an ‘Easy’ armchair, a pair of ‘Cinéma’ armchairs, a ‘Judge’ armchair, a folding screen and a writing chair. The furniture is a reflection of Jeanneret’s ethos: solidly constructed, designed along rudimentary principles, and capitalising on the skills of local craftsmen and regional materials. Made in solid teak, the chairs are recognisable by their V-, U- and X-shaped legs, and originally featured seats in finishes including rattan, leather and vinyl.

As is typical with pieces of this pedigree, the hardwood has outlived the 1950s upholstery. The furniture has been restored by Laffanour to conservation standards, but with the patina of its framework intact; holes and marks are left unfilled to celebrate its origins, use and age. Meanwhile, elements such as panels and cushions have been given a new lease of life with leather in various hues.

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December 2019