Vol Au Vent Chair
for B&B Italia
Taking the inspiration for its form from the now iconic Bellini Chair developed in 1998 for Heller in plastic and for which Mario Bellini won a Compasso d’Oro in 2001, the Vol Au Vent Chair continues Bellini’s ongoing exploration of levity within the chair form now with both an upholstery cover and padding.
As its “windblown” moniker in French implies, Mario Bellini’s Vol Au Vent is sleek and light. The Vol Au Vent chair is composed of a steel internal frame that is completely padded with a single piece of stamped Bayfit (Bayer) cold-shaped polyurethane foam with a polyester fiber cover. The look of this versatile piece can be changed by switching the specially designed removable upholstery covers that are available in numerous textile and leather options. The Vol Au Vent chair is also available in two versions – the larger version as an armchair.
Mario Bellini is an Italian architect and designer. He graduated from the Milan Polytechnic – Faculty of Architecture in 1959 and began working as an architect himself in the early 1960s. He is the winner of 8 Compasso d’Oro and prestigious architecture awards including the Medaglia d’Oro conferred on him by the President of the Italian Republic. Like many other Italian architects, his activities range from architecture and urban planning to product and furniture design.
Mario Bellini is one of Italy’s most renowned design talents. As an architect, he has designed structures around the world, such as the Tokyo Design Centre, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Milan Convention Centre. His illustrious oeuvre also moves far beyond architecture—he’s a skilled industrial designer, urban planner, and furniture designer who has influenced all corners of the industry.
Bellini began his foray into the design world as an architect in the 1960’s, and by 1963 he started to incorporate furniture and product design into his work. For nearly three decades, Bellini was the chief design consultant for Olivetti, where he created product designs for typewriters, portable calculators, and early computer consoles. Bellini’s masterful understanding of form became evident in both his product and furniture work. Many of the bestselling designs from his early career, such as Le Bambole seating line for B&B Italia and the Cab chair for Cassina, continue to be produced.
With over 25 pieces of his industrial design in their permanent collection, MoMA celebrated Bellini’s contribution to the design world with a 1987 retrospective of his work.