The Must-Have Piece Of Modern Furniture For Your Living Space

Design aficionados, or anyone who loves a really comfy and ergonomic chair, take note: CENTRO Modern Furnishings in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood, the self-described “design museum,” invites patrons for a test-lounge on a piece that has become a pop-cultural icon: the SACCO chair.

First produced in 1968 by Italian manufacturer Zanotta, designers Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini and Franco Teodoro created the innovative SACCO by embracing the ergonomics trend of the 1960s and completely rethinking a piece of furniture largely unchanged since antiquity: the chair.

Zanotta had produced an inflatable chair the year before; Waterbeds were all the rage. These designs changed the material of the product, but not the form. How to create a piece of furniture that was not simply stylish, but also functionally superior? How to make a chair that was adaptable to the human body—that could sit upright, recline or lounge? Asking a piece of furniture to be so versatile was uncommon within existing design.

Gatti, Paolini and Teodoro considered a timeworn design: mattresses stuffed with chestnut leaves, which were still widely used by the lower class in Italy. The leaves allowed the mattress to mold itself to fit the body, whereas a mattress filled with cotton batting did not. Running with that idea, they designed a pear-shaped, sculpted leather bag filled with small, foam polystyrene beads that would provide the body support but yet was also flexible—one sleek, yet functional piece of furniture that could be used in many ways. It was one of the first pieces of furniture that adapted completely to the user, bringing new meaning to the term “easy-chair” and redefining what consumers expect from their furniture.

Sat upright, the SACCO is a chair of traditional shape with a headrest, which forms itself around the body. Laid down, it can be used as a recliner for watching television, or a futon for sleeping. The SACCO is anatomical and lightweight, allowing the user to shift easily between positions. For its unique design, the Design Museum named it as one of the “Fifty Chairs that Changed the World.”

Centro Modern Furniture Alive Magazine St. Louis

Now available in many colors as well as standard, small and medium sizes for children and adults, CENTRO Modern Furnishings has brought this highly designed casual chair to St. Louis in bold colors and prints that nod to its playful design. SACCO accents a room in warm-orange or red-and-white houndstooth, and makes a statement with a geometric shape pattern, large cartoon eyes or “This way up” packaging labels cleverly printed all around the bag. Though the prints are newer, CENTRO ensures the “modern-classic” pieces sold are true to their original design, blended with the right balance of beauty, functionality and history.

Made of durable material suited for either indoor or outdoor use, the SACCO bag is a design that still reads as contemporary nearly five decades after it was first produced. It is an icon of design that may very well last another five decades through whatever design trends are on the horizon.

Photography courtesy of Zanotta.

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