Constanze Sofa by Johannes Spalt for Wittmann
#10 of the Big Sofa Book
Aura Sofa by Paolo Piva by Wittmann
Alleegasse sofa by Josef Hoffmann reedited by Wittmann
In 1912, Josef Hoffmann designed the “Alleegasse” upholstery group especially for Dr. Hugo Koller, who had a city apartment in Vienna at the time. Franz Wittmann now offers these classics in his edition Hoffmann as original replicas. The balance between strict overall shape and soft curves invites you to relax and attentive art pleasure alike. Due to the noble cover of cotton veley, leather or the original strip fabric, the quiet design is still underlined. The cords in contrast colors accentuates the balanced lines of the furniture.
Wittmann is an Austrian furniture manufacturer who started as a saddler in 1896 and who obtained reproduction rights of furniture designed by Josef Hoffmann. I hapened to pass their Vienna showroom last week where this Alleegasse chair was on display. I love it.
Josef Hoffmann, born in 1870, studied architecture under Carl von Hasenquer and Otto Wagner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1899, at the age of 29, he became a professor at what is now the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 1903 he and Kolo Moser established the Wiener Werkstätte. His first important building, the sanatorium in Purkersdorf, near Vienna, built in 1904, set radical new standards in architecture and interior design. But it was the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, built between 1905 and 1911, that founded his international reputation. Here, Josef Hoffmann succeeded in perfection the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), reconciling art and life, and aestheticizing all aspects of design.
Austrian furniture manufacturer Wittmann still makes it, the Kubus or Cube armchair by Josef Hoffmann. It’s one of my favorites. Another omission I’ve never featured it here. The design is from 1910.