One of the most luxurious trends to date must simply be the use of mechanical back-rests which Roche Bobois has certainly mastered! The likes of design geniuses such as Sacha Lakic, Philippe Bouix and of course Hans Hopfer, have helped revolutionise not only styling but thought-out-comfort through the elegant visual appearance & dynamic functions of some of the world’s awe-inspiring sofa ranges.

Starting with the Iconic MAH JONG modular armless chair, designed by Hans Hopfer, turning a seemingly static back rest into a changeable moment of brilliance. Not only does the top of the rest work on a ratchet system, the seat is interchangeable with other fabric designs of your choosing, so should you wish to have the mechanical back on a chaise-lounge seat cushion, ‘voile’ just swap! With the rest moving from mid-back to shoulder support and eventually a head-rest too. This will always be one of our most sort after pieces.

MAH JONG modular armless chair

Moving to the ever-popular, stream-lined SCENARIO sofa by Sacha Lakic! Each backrest fitted with an engineered work-of-art swivel arm, moving the rest 410mm from front to back, with the resting degree never altered and allowing the user to engage from formal seating to completely relaxed in one easy motion! ‘Sister’ to the SCENARIO is their CONNEXE sofa by Studio Roche Bobois, clearly poised to show-off it’s talent in one simple move, this time, shifting the rest backward & simultaneously UP to allow instant head-rest support with its design purpose in full allure, no questions asked! These are just another two innovations developed to keep Roche Bobois on the leading edge of ergonomic greatness!


To keep things even more exciting are their electrical, remote controlled back-rest options. Taking the SYLLABE sofa as an example, designed by specialist Philippe Bouix, showing us just how complex a Roche Bobois piece can be with an outward calm and intrigue which simply draws you into the design wanting you to want one!


All images courtesy of Roche Bobois

Text by Jonathan Purves

Roche Bobois

Pop into their showroom located on 10 Kloof Street in Gardens, Cape Town to view these models and much more.

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The Africa Issue is a celebration of the future of design in Africa and its potential to drive change. We explore the concept of ‘Africaness’, what this means for our aesthetic. We also  dream big with bedroom inspiration and take you on a tour of homes that truly embrace the spirit of the continent. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #AfricaIssue.