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Alky Chair
Iconic Designs

Alky Chair

About the Design

In the 1960s, Giancarlo Piretti (b. 1940), who earned a degree in art education at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna and taught interior design, began working with the Italian manufacturer Castelli, where he would go on to produce some of the most popular chairs in the world. In 1969, he debuted the Alky, a sculptural, modernized riff on a slipper chair that appears to float above the ground.


Unlike most chairs, the Alky doesn’t have a distinctive base and seat; rather the entire form appears as one continuous piece, originally upholstered in velvet and wool and set on narrow, aluminum feet.


Much of Piretti’s popularity in the United States can be attributed to Castelli’s exhibition “The Piretti Collection” at the 1988 iteration of the NeoCon design exposition in Chicago. There, his ergonomic office seating earned him a slew of awards and led to increased global attention.


Compared to Piretti’s widely revered folding chairs and wheeling desk chairs (the Plia, of which millions have sold, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art; the DSC 106 is among Castelli’s best known), the Alky — no longer in production — is by far the most sumptuous design. Yet, as much as its shapely silhouette has made it a favorite of interior designers in residential and commercial spaces alike, it is also rooted in comfort. Its foam-covered back and seat give soft resistance, and the Alky chair’s organic shape perfectly cradles the sitter — a true mark of the modernist dedication to human-centric design.

Giancarlo Piretti Alky Chair

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Alky Chair by Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli, 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti, Anonima Castelli
Located in Lasne, BE
Pair of armchairs in grey fabric. Metal base. Slight wear and tear due to time and age of the armchairs ( see photos ) Seat height 42cm.
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Metal

Alky Chair by Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli, 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti, Anonima Castelli
Located in Lasne, BE
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Metal

Pair of Giancarlo Piretti “Alky” Chairs in New Velvet, Artifort, 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti, Cassina
Located in London Road, Baldock, Hertfordshire
A pair of Giancarlo Piretti “Alky” chairs newly upholstered in designers guild linen colored velvet. Manufactured by Artifort in the 1970s. The organic shape offers a minimal appe...
Category

Mid-20th Century Dutch Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Steel

Alky Chair by Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli, 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti, Anonima Castelli
Located in Lasne, BE
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Metal

Alky Lounge Chair by Giancarlo Piretti for Castelli, 1970s, Italy
By Giancarlo Piretti, Castelli
Located in The Hague, NL
'Alky' slipper lounge chair was designed by Giancarlo Piretti and produced by the Italian maker Castelli during the 1970s period. Made with fabric over foam over an aluminium base, ...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Set of Four Lounge Chairs Designed by Giancarlo Piretti for Castelli, 1970s
By Castelli, Giancarlo Piretti
Located in Antwerp, BE
Set of 4 lounge “Alky” chairs designed by Giancarlo Piretti original Red wool upholstery. Aluminum frame and polished chrome foot rests. Beautiful organic curves reminiscent of Pierr...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

'Alky' Pair of Slipper Lounge Chairs by Giancarlo Piretti for Castelli, 1970s
By Castelli, Giancarlo Piretti
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This pair of 'Alky' slipper lounge chairs was designed by Giancarlo Piretti and produced by the Italian maker Castelli during the 1970s. Made with fabric over foam over an aluminum b...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Slipper Chairs

Materials

Aluminum

Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli Leather Alky Armchair, Bologna, 1970
By Giancarlo Piretti, Anonima Castelli
Located in Madrid, ES
Pair of alky armchairs designed by Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli Bologna. Solid wood structure upholstered in orange leather and wooden feet.
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Leather, Wood

Alky Armchair by Giancarlo Piretti for Castelli, Italy, 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti
Located in AMSTERDAM, NL
Black Alky armchair by Giancarlo Piretti. Produced by Castelli in Italy in the 1970s. Very comfortable. In original black Van Der Ploeg Wool fabric. The item is in good vintage condi...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Wool

Armchair Alky by Giancarlo Piretti for Anonima Castelli, 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti, Anonima Castelli
Located in Lasne, BE
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern

Materials

Metal

Velvet Tobacco Color Alky Armchair by Giancarlo Piretti for Castelli Italy 1970s
By Giancarlo Piretti, Castelli
Located in Roma, IT
Tobacco color armchair, Alky model by Giancarlo Piretti. Produced by Castelli in Italy in the 1970s. Original velvet. On the seat there is a slight circle visible in the photograph...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

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