Last week we stumbled across this cool image of the classic Wassily Chair and thought we’d share it with you guys. The chair, formerly known as the Model B3, has quite a story so today I thought we’d take a look at the history behind one of the best-loved pieces to come out of the modernist era.
The chair, designed by Marcel Breuer whilst working at the Bauhaus, was the first in history to be produced using bent tubular steel. The inspiration for this particular material came to Breuer from the bent steel handlebars on his Adler bicycle. He reasoned that if the material could be bent into handlebars, it could be bent into furniture forms.
When first designed, the Wassily was supposed to resemble the empty structure of a conventional armchair – no cushioning or padding, just the exposed frame. It was a modern interpretation of the cosy armchair. But Breuer actually thought that the design would falter, saying ‘I thought that this out of all my work would earn me the most criticism, but the opposite came true.’
The chair has now taken the name Wassily but it started out as the Model B3 when Breuer first designed it in 1925. It only became known as the Wassily when Gavina took over the manufacturing (from Thonet) in the 1940s. The chair’s connections with artist Wassily Kandinsky – he was the first to praise colleague Breuer’s design – meant that Gavina named it after him. Knoll now manufactures the Wassily chair, producing it to Breuer’s original specifications, and it can be bought here at Nest.co.uk
What do you think? Is the Wassily one of your favourite design classics?