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Modern take: 1950s-inspired armchairs showcasing earthy colours and natural materials

In the 1950s, the post-war years were ebullient times for designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, Arne Jacobsen, Gio Ponti and the Castiglioni brothers, simply because they harnessed war-time advances in defence technology to develop new furniture designs for the fast-expanding, post-war generation. The armchairs developed were imbued with a […]

In the 1950s, the post-war years were ebullient times for designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, Arne Jacobsen, Gio Ponti and the Castiglioni brothers, simply because they harnessed war-time advances in defence technology to develop new furniture designs for the fast-expanding, post-war generation. The armchairs developed were imbued with a warmer, more organic aesthetic that toyed with earthy colours and natural materials such as wood. Here, we shed light upon contemporary armchairs that were inspired by designs of the era. By Joseph Lim

HERMAN MILLER EAMES LOUNGER AND OTTOMAN by Charles & Ray Eames (1956)

HERMAN MILLER EAMES LOUNGE CHAIR & OTTOMAN


The iconic Eames club chair No. 670 (also called the Eames Lounger and Ottoman) is now the most desired armchair by design purists. The plywood shells, bent two-dimensionally for the shoulders, back, seat and ottoman were first veneered with rosewood. Later iterations offered walnut as an alternative. The leather upholstery was previously filled with goosefeather but today, has been replaced by foam. Today, it is a beloved classic that is viewed as a status symbol. Available at Xtra.

CASSINA 699 SUPERLEGGERA by Gio Ponti (1957)

Superleggera

While it may seem odd to include a dining chair in a write-up of iconic armchairs, the Superleggera chair is a defining moment in the history of designing chairs. Its creator, the preeminent Italian architect Gio Ponti, materialised his dream in 1957 with this super strong and super light chair. “Superleggera” means super lightweight in Italian, and the chair lives up to its name as it can be lifted with just your index finger. Its lightness and thinness is crafted in ash wood lacquered black with India cane seat. Available at Dream.

FRITZ HANSEN EGG CHAIR by Arne Jacobsen (1958)

Egg

The Egg chair was conceived by Arne Jacobsen for the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. The hotel was also designed by Jacobsen, right down to the minutiae such as door handles and cutlery. In true, typical Jacobsen style of using state-of-the-art material, the Egg’s design DNA was more sinuous; a stark contrast to the hotel’s exclusively vertical and horizontal forms. The core of the upholstery offers strong inner foam that provides astounding comfort. To strive for the perfect egg shape, Jacobsen used clay to create the likeness of an egg in his home’s garage. Available at Space Asia Hub.


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