Archizoom Safari Livingscape sofa for Poltronova — behold this 1967 Italian beauty!

archizoom safariYowza. This is one spectacular sofa — and it’s is currently for sale at Room Service Vintage in Austin, Texas. The proper name for it appears to be Archizoom Safari Livingscape sofa. The Architonic website shows a version of the Archizoom Safari with animal print upholstery, and says it was designed by the company Archizoom in 1967/1968 for Poltronova. They call it an “icon of 20th century Radical design,” although Wikipedia’s wiki on Archizoom also introduced me to the term Superarchitecture. Superarchitecture, indeed.

Thanks to Room Service Vintage for giving us permission to feature this 1960s Italian beauty. We put the photo in real big, too: Click on the thumbnail to luxuriate in the beauty of it all:

Lori at the store told me that this furniture came from the original owner. I actually spotted this photo on Room Service Vintage’s Facebook page… via Mod Squad Picking’s Facebook page (I like to give credit, cuz love makes the world go round.)

Anyway, the Archizoom Safari Livingscape sofa sectional is for sale at Room Service Vintage for $7,500. That sort of sounds like a lot — except that the auction listing archived on the Architonic page valued the model archived there at 30.000-40.000 Euros, which calculates to $39,000 to $52,000. I don’t know whether these two examples make for a truly apples-to-apples comparison, but either way, them sure are some nice apples.

I dug some more on the intertubes, and found the news release for the 2003 auction. The relevant bit says:

Radical Design, which came up in the late 1960s in response to “good” Italian design, was an attempt at modifying the general perception of modernism through utopian ideas and visions. Two significant works offered in the sale were created by chief protagonists of this movement: the Safari livingscape by Archizoom Associati (1967/1968, € 30,000 – 40,000) and…

This academic treatise also looks interesting (I still need to read it all): It refers to Archizoom and the aesthetic of the Safari sofa — including some original quotes from the period indicating that designers were apparently aiming for this sofa to flaunt all precepts of “good taste.”

Here’s another photo I found, which shows how the Archizoom Safari looks with two pieces back to back.

Yowza.

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Comments

  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    Hi, Pam. I never saw one of these in the 1960s, even though I was a visitor or babysitter in some pretty swank mod apartments in New York City. When I first saw the picture, I wondered if it was assembled in sections or whether the sections were detachable, so thanks for including the other photo with sections back to back. Seems to me the first view would be great for entertaining family and friends you really like and the second would be good for people you hate but have to invite to your living room for some reason. :-)

  2. Allen says

    WOW I have always wanted one of these. Unfortunately the price PLUS the trip to Texas to get it would be prohibitive. Thanks for the eye candy anyways. Someone will end up lucky!!

  3. Sharon says

    Depending on the condition of the cushions, $7.5k isn’t a lot for a piece this large. Look at the prices for a good quality sofa these days! If it has to be reupholstered though, that might present a challenge. I love it.

  4. Steve H says

    Very cool! It would look great with fiber optic lamps on the four corners. Good thing I can’t afford it cause it would take up my entire living room.

    • pam kueber says

      Lori said it sits very comfortably… obviously, probably not so good for lazy naps, unless you are a dog or a cat!

  5. Scott says

    That really puts the MOD in Mid-Century Modern.

    The perfect accessory: Models striking high fashion poses dressed in Mary Quant or André Courrèges.

  6. says

    That is certainly a striking piece and definitely unusual. I have seen so many pieces from that time period but never one quite like that:)
    Maude

  7. BlueJay says

    Ha! I was JUST there a couple of days ago; this must have come in after. I scored some vintage shirts in tall from Room Service Vintage! The store is fantastic and has become a must-do stop when we visit there. :D

  8. Ana says

    Room Service is a great store — I’ve made some good finds there. It’s just a fun place to browse. Worth visiting for mid-century/vintage fans who pass through Austin.

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