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Cini Boeri and her Ghost Chair #Cini Boeri

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Cini Boeri is, together with Gae Aulenti, the better known Italian woman architect in her generation. She opened her studio in 1963 after working along such great architects as Gio Ponti and Marco Zanuso. As well as many of the most famous names of Italian architecture, her concern about the habitable environment prompted her to combine architecture, interior design and product design, so that her most renowned work belongs to this last discipline.

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Since the beginning of her career as a designer, she stood out for her innovative use of materials, such as the polyurethane foam that she used for designing the modular sofa Bobo in 1967 or the continuous sofa Serpentone in 1971. The Ghost Chair, designed in 1987 together with her fellow designer Tomu Katayanagi, is the best example of her testing of the limits of materials. It is made by cutting and bending a single sheet of 12 millimetre-thick glass to form the seat, the armrests and the back of a sculptural and evanescent piece.

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I designed this chair, with its ghostly transparency, at a time when I was terribly tired of designing armchairs and sofas, but that was what everyone was asking me to do. So I said to myself: Let’s make one you can’t see! Cini Boeri, 2013

Her villas, such as her own Bunker House or the house in the Woods in Varese, pay a special attention to the integration in their natural environment, but also to the construction of an individual space that its inhabitants can make their own. In that regard, her most renowned piece of work may be her early Casa Rotonda, a house that wraps in a circular courtyard and stands like a tower in the coast of Sardinia.