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Chairs That Changed The World

Barcelona Chair, Swan Chair, Eames Chair, just to name a few.  These are some of the most iconic chairs in the world.  But why are these chairs so famous, and why we must own every single one?

 

Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A chair fit for a King.  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was selected to design the German Pavilion for the Barcelona Exposition of 1929.  Inside The Pavilion, Mies created an extraordinary space never before seen with chairs and stools specially designed as a resting place for the King and Queen of Spain.  It had to be an “important chair, a very elegant chair,” according to the architect. “The government was to receive a king. . . . The chair had to be . . . monumental. In those circumstances, you just couldn’t use a kitchen chair.”

 

Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia

Like Mies, Bertoia was able to turn industrial material into the most sublime innovation  The Diamond Chair, created in 1952 is the product of one of the master sculptors of the century.  The innovative diamond-shaped frame, formed of welded steel rods is the result of Bertoia’s experimental sculptural work that raised the design from just a chair to a work of art.

 

Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer was an apprentice at the Bauhaus when he began experimenting with steel tubes that could be used as a way of building a more transparent and elastic chair.

In an interview with a Knoll (manufacturer of the original pieces) historian, Breuer said, “I realized that the bending had to go further. It should only be bent with no points of welding on it so it could also be chromed in parts and put together. That is how the first Wassily was born.”

 

Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen

This story is short and sweet.  Designer Eero Saarinen created this chair at the request of his close friend and fellow designer, Florence Knoll.  She wanted a chair so comfortable that she could curl up and relax in, and the womb chair was born.

 

Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen

Resembling the shape of a tulip flower but also a stemmed wineglass, the Tulip Chair was designed to simplify the structure of a chair.  Saarinen said: “The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again.”

 

Egg Chair and Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Arne Jacobsen designed the iconic Egg Chair in 1958 at the request of the interior design of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Germany.

The Swan Chair is the Egg Chair’s cousin, and was commissioned by the same hotel again in 1958. The Swan Chair was the most influential of its time for its seamless curvature and has defined the retro style.

 

All of these iconic chairs are manufactured by Knoll and can be purchased at http://www.knoll.com

 

Image credit: Knoll

 

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