“Patty Diffusa” armchair, designed by William Sawaya, circa 1993 for Sawaya & Moroni, Italy
Features: Mahogany solid wood, mahogany veneer, bent/molded plywood, green leather upholstered seat

 “Patty Diffusa” chair restored by Bernacki & Associates, Inc.
 “Patty Diffusa” chair designed by William Sawaya, 1993
 “Patty Diffus” chair, Sawaya & Moroni
 Sawaya’s “Patty Diffusa” chair
 Sawaya & Moroni blind impression on the underside of the upholstered seat

Sawaya & Moroni blind impression on the underside of the upholstered seat

The “Patty Diffusa” chair is known for its sculptural three-dimensional curvature in molded plywood. The wide curved armrests extend to legs toward the front and create loops toward the back and downwards to smoothly disappear under the seat. The chair’s back rest is made of molded plywood as well. The material is manufactured from thin layers of wood veneer or "plies" that are glued together through heat and pressure.

William Sawaya is an architect, interior designer, and furniture and product designer. He was born in Bejrut in 1948. He graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA; French: Académie libanaise des Beaux-Arts) in 1973. He studied in Paris and Milan where he gained experience in the field of furniture design. He moved to Milan in 1978 and together with Paolo Moroni established the Sawaya & Moroni Architects, Architectural Practice and Design Studio. In 1984, Sawaya and Moroni inaugurated their original luxurious limited-edition contemporary design furniture manufacturing company where William is the art director.

Other iconic designs by William Sawaya include:

“4OLGA” chair, high style, incredible sculptural creation carved in bright wood with flowing organic lines. There is a resin version in manufacture due to the popularity, however this edition loses the strong textural visual effect produced by dark lines of wood grain flowing with the direction of curved surfaces.

“Maxima” dining chair, optimized for comfort, formed from a single sheet of high-density polyurethane fitted over a steel frame

“Trentah” dining chair, featuring polygonal geometry

“La Belle” chair, presenting bent laminated wood based beautiful ribbon-like wavy sculptural design

“Patty Diffusa” Chair Restoration by Bernacki & Associates

Condition & Treatment

The proper right rear leg of the chair was broken off at the juncture of the seat. There were three dowels protruding at the break. The client provided the detached leg and several small wood fragments that had broken off when the leg failed. The rest of the chair frame appeared to be in good condition except for some minor scratches and abrasions consistent with light use. The break happened along the solid wood grain with splits occurring along grain line. The dowels remained stable, while the length that comprised both the rear proper right stile and leg was severely compromised.

 Chair before treatment

Chair before treatment

 Detail of break

Detail of break

 Retained fragments related to the break

Retained fragments related to the break

 Dowels were not broken, only solid wood was compromised

Dowels were not broken, only solid wood was compromised

Given the severity of the break, and the client’s desire to ensure that the chair could be safely used, it was determined that the entire length of the proper right rear leg and stile be replaced. The compromised length was carefully removed, and a new replacement in mahogany was created. Careful attention was made to ensure that the fabricated piece matched in grain and tone to the adjacent surfaces. The replacement was then finished and polished to match the existing components in the chair.

 Detail before treatment

Detail before treatment

 After treatment

After treatment

 Before

Before

 After

After