Designed in the late 50’s by Gianfranco Frattini as a “floor-to-ceiling” central bookcase, Albero was created for use in interior settings rather than for mass production. The Albero bookcase is formally associated with the Neo-Liberty period and, in terms of product type, with the floor-to-ceiling bookcase systems that were popular throughout the 1950’s and 60’s.
The structure is distinctive both for its intricate cabinet work and its sculpted appearance, which ensures that it is the centrepiece of the room. The supporting structure of the Albero bookcase is in solid Canaletto walnut. It is made up of two toothed supports, with a special rack joint, and four vertical pillars with regular holes that make it possible to assemble either 8 or 12 shelves. The latter are in MDF with wood veneer. The caps, at the ceiling and on the floor, are attached to the ends of the toothed supports. The top cap is inserted in a “cup” anchored to the ceiling. The bottom cap grips the floor with a non-slip rubber. The bookcase is held securely in position by four metal locknuts in the caps. The fixing elements (caps and cup) have an antiqued burnished steel finish. The signature of the designer and the Poltrona Frau logo are laser engraved on the lower toothed support. The Albero bookcase can rotate 360°. On request, the shelf surfaces can be embellished and protected with a 4 mm-thick Cuoio Saddle leather insert with tone-on-tone dyed edge. The insert has hand markings around the edge and is branded with the Poltrona Frau logo.
Gianfranco Frattini was born in Padua in 1926 and graduated in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic in 1953, where he remained working there right up to his death. His professional activity was concerned principally with interiors and industrial design. He was an assiduous participant in shows and exhibitions and his design projects won a large number of prizes. In 1956 Frattini was one of the founders of the ADI, Association of Industrial design, for which he carried out a lot of different activities. His presence was habitually felt at congresses, conventions and furniture fairs all over the world.