In 2005, Vitra first introduced the Polder Sofa by Hella Jongerius. With its unusual shape and carefully crafted combination of colours, materials and textures, it made a mark on the typology of the contemporary sofa. Now, ten years later, the Polder Sofa is being updated with two new versions – the Polder Sofa and the Polder Compact – to replace the original model. The refreshed Polder design brings new colour and materials as well as fresh details to the sofas. They feature textiles developed exclusively for Vitra by Hella Jongerius – fabrics that enhance the intensity and refinement of her combination of colours and textures.
Though the defining characteristics of the design have been retained, they now appear in novel variations. For the new Polder Sofa as well as Polder Compact, the Dutch designer keeps the flat body and cushions in various coloured fabrics, which recall the origin of the product’s name: in Holland, 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.
The front edge, which used to extend across the entire length of the sofa, has been replaced on the new models by larger seat cushions and voluminous back cushions in two different heights. These form a comfortable seating landscape flanked on both sides by an upholstered body, whose shape distinguishes the Polder Sofa from the Polder Compact. A low armrest is integrated on one end of the Polder Sofa, while the other is bordered by an adjoining platform that can serve as a storage surface for magazines, books or trays. The new Polder Compact, by contrast, features a body with two armrests in different heights, which demarcate the smaller dimensions of this compact sofa.
Polder stays true to its origins as an unusual asymmetrical sofa: the new models can also 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 now separately available, it can also be used as an ottoman.
As in previous versions, the cushions and body of the sofas are covered with fabrics in carefully coordinated colours, weaves and textures. Hella Jongerius has created new colour compositions in the shades of green, red, golden yellow and night blue. In place of standard upholstery fabrics, textiles developed exclusively for Vitra by Hella Jongerius are used as cover materials for the new Polder sofas – thereby intensifying the subtle interplay of colours and textures that typifies this design.
The buttons are specially designed by Hella Jongerius for the new Polder sofas in a collage of coloured plastic, aluminium, brass or leather. Fabricated with industrial methods, the buttons signal a shift away from traditional handicraft techniques. 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.
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