This Generation – Maarten van Severen

Coming back to our 'This Generation- meet the designer’ theme, after our De Padova Event at the start of this month - focused around the new design releases of the collection, it is only fitting that we share the story of the late Maarten van Severen. Van Severen is considered one of the few Belgian designers who managed to infiltrate the international design realm, he designed the LC03 armchair and the LL04 leather lounge chair that De Padova brought out from the design archives to be a part of the new releases in their respected furniture collection which can be viewed in South Africa at our Hyde Park store.

Maarten van Severen

Maarten van Severen came from an artistic family, his father was the abstract working painter Dan Van Severen and his brother Fabian Van Severen is also a designer. Van Severen studied architecture at the Saint-Lucas Institute in Ghent. In 1986 he started designing furniture, and in the following year established an independent workshop, where he pursued the limited, semi-industrial production of his own furniture designs.

The sense of the unified process of design and production was a fundamental aspect of his work, which was devoted to the innovative analysis of basic furniture types such as a chair, table, chaise longue, shelving, cabinet. Van Severen developed primary solutions for these categories based on a comprehensive investigation of the questions of form, material and construction.

The LC03 armchair (designed in 2003) with its structure in matt black powder coated steel and chassis in black polyester is a design to admire. The seat cushion is in cotton batting with polyurethane foam insert. Completely removable cover in fabric or leather. The frame has been reduced to one clear line, which almost inconspicuously supports the slender seat. The comfort of the chair is enhanced by the addition of a cushion.


The LL04 leather lounge chair (designed in 2004) is one of van Severen’s last works before his death due to the effects of cancer in 2005. The design is refined and has a distinct graphic line with some peculiar elements such as the one-sided armrest-table and the stitched detail. The seat has been constructed using a thin stainless steel frame onto which a saddle leather skin has been stretched. By doing this, the leather skin functions as a support and in time will sculpt to the shape of the user. This supporting the fact that the designer consciously intended for the product to be designed in such a way that it can grow with the user, imprinting themselves into the design.


This thought and care put into the designs is a testament to the ethos which De Padova upholds.