In the home country of Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, the word 'polder' refers to low-lying flatlands, typically subdivided into fields serving various agricultural purposes, that have been reclaimed from the sea by means of dykes and drainage canals.
With their flat surfaces, low-slung body and horizontal emphasis, both Polder sofas evoke the characteristic features of the polder landscape. The large seat cushions of the Polder Sofa and Polder Compact form an extremely comfortable, asymmetrical seating surface that is flanked on both sides by the upholstered body.
The shape of the body is what distinguishes the two sofas: a low armrest is integrated on one end of the Polder Sofa, while the other is bordered by an adjoining platform that also serves as a storage surface for magazines, books or trays. The Polder Sofa thus offers plenty of space to stretch out and relax, whether sitting or lying down. The Polder Compact, by contrast, features a body with two armrests in different heights, which demarcate the smaller dimensions of the sofa. The higher armrest also makes it possible to sit comfortably in a sideways position either for reading or watching television.With their distinctively asymmetrical structure, both Polder sofas can be optionally configured with the higher armrest on the left or right side, making them adaptable to different spatial settings. Since the platform for the Polder Sofa is separately available, it can also be used as an ottoman.
The upholstered cushions and body of the sofas are covered with fabrics in carefully coordinated hues and weaves: shades of green, red, golden yellow or night blue. In place of standard upholstery fabrics, textiles developed exclusively for Vitra by Hella Jongerius are used as cover materials thereby intensifying the subtle interplay of colours and textures that typifies the design.A striking detail is added by the buttons, which were conceived by Jongerius as a collage of coloured plastic, aluminium and leather. They not only provide an attractive contrast to the soft woven fabrics, but also facilitate the easy removal of the upholstery covers for cleaning, thanks to a simple fastening device.
Coordinated combinations of various colours and fabric types, removable
The designer Hella Jongerius has become known for the manner in which she fuses industry and craft, high- and low-tech, traditional and contemporary. In 1993 she founded the Jongeriuslab studio, where she has pursued independent projects and also created products for major clients, including Maharam, Danskina, IKEA and KLM.
For Vitra, the Dutch designer has developed distinctive pieces such as the Polder Sofa and the East River Chair. Jongerius has consistently addressed the significance of colours and surfaces in contemporary design in her work with textiles, ceramics and furniture. She has been the Art Director for colours and materials at Vitra for many years and developed the Vitra Colour & Material Library – a system that enables the versatile combination of different materials and colours throughout the extensive Vitra product collection. Hella Jongerius has also written a book about this complex task entitled «I Don’t Have a Favorite Colour».
Works by Hella Jongerius have been shown at museums and galleries such as Design Museum (London), Galerie kreo (Paris) and the Moss Gallery (New York).