benjamin hubert's juliet wins poltrona frau centenary armchair competition
benjamin hubert's juliet wins poltrona frau centenary armchair competition benjamin hubert's juliet wins poltrona frau centenary armchair competition
apr 23, 2012

benjamin hubert's juliet wins poltrona frau centenary armchair competition

benjamin hubert’s juliet wins poltrona frau centenary armchair competition




‘juliet’ by benjamin hubert is the winning design of italian furniture company poltrona frau‘s international competition whose brief asked participants to utilize traditional upholstery techniques under the theme ‘a chair to spend time in’.


to celebrate poltrona frau’s centenary, the brand selected twelve promising young creatives from across the globe including nendo, stephen burks, nina zupanc, constance guisset and daphna laurens, to compete in the challenge of designing the company’s ‘centenary chair’. the entries were judged under the categories of formal appearance, representation of the given theme, use and interpretation of leather and comfort.

top view




hubert’s winning piece is influenced by the italian renaissance fashion detail of the ‘juliet sleeve’ which tightly fits the arm and has a large deconstructed ‘puff’ on the shoulder. with ‘juliet’, the british designer wanted to communicate the properties of leather upholstery. the outside of the chair utilizes the flexibility and tensile strength of leather to describe a fluted traditional timber framework where the shape of the timber can clearly be seen through the tight leather covering. this is contrasted by a ‘tri-pleated’ generous sitting area with a  soft and loose appearance. the deconstructed area is used to describe the comfort of the chair. the shape of the sitting area is ‘wide screen’ allowing the user to rest in multiple positions in line with how people really use and misuse furniture.

back view



the competition’s nine judges: livia peraldo matton – editor in chief of elle decor italy giulio cappellini – creative director of cappellini françois-henry pinault – chairman of ppr group jean nouvel – architect vanessa friedman – financial times, fashion editor anne-sophie von clear – lifestyle le figaro, deputy director walter de silva – head designer of the audi brand group ratan naval tata – chairman of tata group thomas maier – bottega veneta



‘juliet’ on show during milan design week 2012 image © designboom

constructing the frame of ‘juliet’

upholstering the chair



prototype models




the ‘making of’ juliet
video courtesy of benjamin hubert

concept sketch

juliet sketch development



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

thank you benjamin for helping us publish, we’ve added a few images of our visit to the exhibition.

  • I am a big fan of Benjamin Hubert’s work. This new upholstery texture is amazing, fresh and current. By the sketches I can see that he was trying to elevate and separate the textured uphostery from the support. My only criticism is that I feel the textured seat is enough. Meaning I actually like the “juliet making-leather” image better than the finished product. It focuses on this new texture and doesn’t add anything to distract from it. The addition of the stretched base seems a little overdone. Otherwise a beautiful piece to add to his beautiful portfolio of products.

    faf says:
  • This chair is specializing in Leather Armchair series; Combination with designation and production . These leather chairs are stylish, comfy and intended to compliment every decor. The consumer is guaranteed to have a relaxed sit and backside support.

    Armchair says:
  • and the others six competitors?

    Luís says:
  • no name?

    Luís says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
477,145 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
privacy policy