Timeless Design: Iconic Chairs

ZIG-ZAG CHAIR

by GERRIT RIETVELD (1934)

It is not hard to imagine that this minimalist creation was designed just years ago, but at 80 years old, to say that this design by Dutchman Rietveld has aged well would be a gross understatement. Looking as sleek and modern now as it did 80 years ago, it was originally designed for Rietveld’s Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and consists simply of four flat wooden tiles that are merged into a Z-shape using Dovetail joints.

“Y” WISHBONE CHAIR

by HANS WEGNER (1949)

A darling of interior designers and home decoration magazines the world over, the Hans Wegner Wishbone chair is a classic through and through. Named for the shape of the gently curving chair back, the Wishbone chair combines the graceful ergonomics of the traditional Ming and Qing Dynasty Quan Yi chair with Danish design sensibilities. In fact, Wegner had designed a similar “China Chair” some five years prior to the iconic Wishbone, inspired by the thrones of Chinese Emperors.

THE EGG

by ARNE JACOBSEN (1958)

Its shape is hard to miss and even harder to forget. The 1958 classic Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen still has the power to add a touch of class to any interior. Originally designed for the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, it has become an icon of Danish design. Ironically, Jacobsen himself disliked being called a ‘designer’, thinking of himself first and foremost an architect. His famous furniture designs often started out as companion pieces to architectural projects.

SANLUCA ARMCHAIR

by ACHILLES & PIER GIACOMO CASTIGLIONI (1960)

Designed in 1960 by the visionary brothers, the Sanluca armchair was an experiment in form and formation. Their designs placed them firmly as industry leaders in post-war era and the Sanluca chair had a profound influence and went on to become a benchmark of Italian design. The philosophy behind the Sanluca chair was simple: “absolute necessity,” and was the result of meticulous ergonomic research to provide the best comfort. Italian furniture brand Poltrona Frau purchased the rights to manufacture the Sanluca chair in 2002.

PRINCE CHAIR

by RODOLFO DORDONI (2012)

A new classic, the Prince armchair is created with the latest technology in an homage to the classic design of the 1950s. Manufactured by Minotti, the chair is the finest expression of the brand’s know-how. The construction complexity of the base creates an intriguing juxtaposition with the harmonious line of the seat, culminating in a piece of furniture that looks great in any space.

STOOL ONE

by KONSTANTIN GRCIC ( 2006)

The simply named “Stool One” is an eye-catcher for sure. German-born Grcic once studied under the legendary furniture maker John Makepeace at Parnham College in England before studying design at the Royal College of Art in London. Envisioned as more void than solid, this angular stool can be found in stylish restaurants and bars across the world.

LC04 CHAISE LOUNGE

by LE CORBUSIER (1928)

Designed in 1928, the LC04 became famous in 1965 with Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina. Fascinated with the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Series, which he integrated into his own system called Modulor, Le Corbusier created furniture that act as “extensions of our limbs.” Lie down on a LC04 Chaise Lounge and you will immediately feel how well and comfortably it fits to the body.

YANAGI BUTTERFLY STOOL

by SORI YANAGI (1954)

This elegant stool by Japanese designer Sori Yanagi is an elusive one to find. Originally produced and distributed only in Japan, vintage examples often command upwards of thousands of dollars at auction. The plywood moulding technique used was originally developed by Charles and Ray Eames, but it used here to unique effect.

BALL CHAIR

by EERO AARNIO (1963)

Using one of the simplest geometric forms, Finnish designer Eero Aarnio created a strikingly unconventional chair. A “room within a room”, the chair creates an intimate and relaxing environment for its user. Aarnio is also responsible for the Pony Chair, Bubble Chair and the Pastil Chair.

BARCELONA CHAIR

by LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE (1929)

It is hard to imagine that this sleekly modern office favourite was originally designed for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition. From hand buffed stainless steel or chromed frame to the individual leather squared carefully welted together, each Barcelona chair is a tribute to fine craftsmanship.

LOUIS GHOST CHAIR

by PHILIPPE STARCK ( 2002)

Celebrity design veteran Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost Chair for Kartell makes for an understated yet quirky, whimsical addition to any room. Taking the classic Louis XV armchair and making it cool may seem like a stretch, but that’s exactly what Starck did here with this playful transparent acrylic chair.

WOMB CHAIR

by EERO SAARINEN (1948)

This iconic chair may have been designed in the 1940s, but its lines and form look as fresh now as it did some 66 years ago. Made exclusively for Knoll, the Womb Chair showed off the Finnish designer Saarinen’s flair for style that centres on comfort. As one of the most celebrated pieces of modern furniture design, the Womb Chair is true to its name, just inviting you to curl up and relax.

PANTONE CHAIR

by VERNER PANTONE (1960)

“Most people spend their lives living in dreary, beige conformity, mortally afraid of using colour. The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.” –Verner Panton. Working to his playful philosophy, Panton’s iconic chair comes in a rainbow spectrum of colours and looks as good in a children’s playroom as it does in a sophisticated dining room.

BERTOIA DIAMOND CHAIR

by HARRY BERTOIA (1949)

This graceful chair is arguably the masterpiece of Italian-born American artist Harry Bertoia. With his roots in metal-work and jewellery design, Bertoia encountered Hans and Florence Knoll during his time in Pennsylvania and designed five wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection for Knoll. The Diamond Chair is the crowning glory of the collection; a sculptural form made from a moulded lattice work of welded steel.

EAMES LOUNGE CHAIR AND OTTOMAN

by CHARLES AND RAY EAMES (1956)

The prolific husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames are responsible for some of the most popular furniture of our time, with a design that came to define the look and feel of the 1950s. With its rosewood veneer, luxurious leather upholstery and cast aluminium base, the Eames Lounge and Ottoman (670 & 671), is arguably one of the most iconic furniture pieces of the 20th century.

Y ou’ve seen one and there’s a good chance you’ve sat in one, but did you know what they were?

 

Good design never goes out of fashion, and timeless, unique and effortlessly stylish chairs are everywhere in our daily lives, but can you name these iconic pieces?

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