Joint interview with Gaëlle Cuisy and Karine Martin.
Architects, inseparable French presenters for decoration TV shows as “La Maison France 5” or “M comme Maison” (C8 channel, from 16 April 2021). Only one question: why do you love Penta?
Gaëlle – Penta… That sounds quite nice, doesn’t it?
Karine – Yes. The name corresponds to the armchair and the table…
Gaëlle – A simple name, that sticks perfectly to a “no frills” piece of furniture. Starting with its entirely flat carton packaging.
Karine – And it’s very easy to set up the basic structure: five steel rods to be assembled without tools, and a canvas fixed to it by five very simple wooden picks. Same usability for its dismantling – let’s not forget that Penta is designed to be mobile.
Gaëlle – In short, at a glance you move from 2D to 3D, and vice versa…
Karine – On the other hand, apart from this very ingenious assembly system and these highly resistant materials, I like the Penta’s aesthetic appearance. In particular canvas colours that are closed to the 70’s but staying in our time.
Gaëlle – I agree. With its elegant wire structure and its stretched canvas, Penta is firstly, in my opinion, a graceful object. Nomadic, because likely to be moved, at any time, from the living room to the garden and at the same time so much sustainable – as if it would be able to travel through time.
Karine – Through space and time: that’s it!
Gaëlle – And this, is probably the definition of a “designer piece”.
Karine – It might even be said that it is the definition of an “iconic object”. Moreover, the 1970’s original Penta is not exhibited in the Beaubourg Museum by chance…
My living room in a 2CV
At the origin of Jean-Paul Barray and Kim Moltzer’s project, a bet: to get four armchairs and one table into the boot of a Citroën 2CV for a picnic in the open air. Removable and foldable, the Penta range is nomadic, but also adapted to smaller confined spaces. Compact, aesthetic and comfortable, Penta can be moved from the living room to the garden.
These pieces of furniture are adapted to eco-design requirements and issues, rationalising the space but also the delivery volume and the materials (only canvas, light tabletop and steel wire). Created around a geometric set allowing a favourable stress and load distribution, the Penta armchair weighs just 5,6 kilos – and the table even less…
If the original range was manufactured by the renowned company Caddie, this re-edition respects the designers’ choice of a “hand-made” and 100% Made in France production, real guarantee of quality in the very long term, including outside. 20th century referent designer piece, its sustainability and its strength add to Penta an “intergenerational transmission” value.
As some architectures (let’s think of the “less is more” by Mies van der Rohe), Penta’s geometry does not let itself be influenced by any trend or era. In this way, thanks to a smart drawing combined with ingenuity and technical response, Penta has become a classic of design – registered for many years in the permanent art collection of the Beaubourg Museum.
To save the best of the 70’s and to correct the rest. Penta, it was better now.