Design spotlight: Gubi MR01 Initial Chair
A low-slung lounge chair that is distinctively Danish and yet strikingly modern - we are delighted to welcome the MR01 Initial Chair, designed by Mathias Steen Rasmussen for Gubi.
One of the latest releases from Danish brand Gubi, the MR01 Initial Chair brings together tradition with modernity to create a truly timeless piece of furniture. A celebration of craftsmanship, this is a chair that evokes the golden era of Danish design whilst delivering a fresh perspective, and here at Nest – we believe it’s a classic in the making.
At once familiar yet strikingly modern
“In many ways, it seems as if you might have seen this chair before, but it is an evolutionary interpretation and development of Danish furniture traditions. It is completely its own, very honest and not pretending to be anything else – it just is.” – Jacob Gubi, Owner & Creative Director of Gubi.
The low-slung, gently inclined seat of this lounge chair has been designed to give the sitter a sense of floating, whilst still being firmly connected to the ground – promoting a contemplative sense of calm. This chair was actually first designed by woodworker Mathias Steen Rasmussen for inside his own home, as a place that he could use for meditation.
The result of hundreds of sketches and prototypes – the concept of the MR01 began with its seat, which extends into the back leg and provides support for the backrest. From this, an honestly constructed and expertly crafted chair has been created.
Constructed without a single nail
The MR01 Initial Chair uses traditional carpentry techniques in its construction, enabling it to be put together without a single screw or nail. Wedged tenon joints connect the frame, providing an honest and beautiful detail that celebrates the construction of the chair. Its structure is cleverly designed to simplify construction and limit the amount of waste created - four out of five of the chair’s crossbars are identical, and both side sections have the possibility to be either a right or left-hand side piece.
The frame of the MR01 Initial Chair is available in either walnut or oak, finished simply with oil. This will allow the frame to gain a beautiful patina as it ages, tying into the designers ‘honesty in construction’ philosophy.
“The chair emanates from a simple construction, optimised for production and made with the intent of lasting as long as the materials themselves permit it to. It is honest in its construction, multi-functional, and is easy to understand. Because the rope gives the seat and backrest a certain transparency, it is so light that it almost appears to float.” – Mathias Steen Rasmussen, designer.
90 meters of hand-woven rope create the seat and backrest of the MR01 Initial Chair, using a method Rasmussen developed himself to lock the rope into the frame. Made from natural linen, this rope complements the natural wood frame and provides a tactile contrast to the seat and backrest. Whilst the rope is closely woven enough to provide optimum comfort, its addition also adds lightness and transparency to this piece, both literally and visually. This sets it apart from traditional Danish chairs, making it feel fresh and relevant.
Designed by Mathias Steen Rasmussen
A young designer who thinks like the Danish Masters, Mathias Steen Rasmussen (born 1990) has a background in art and cabinetmaking. Rasmussen completed his apprenticeship in 2019 with the highest honours and takes a rigorous and honest approach to furniture design. His work is contemporary yet respectfully nods to classic mid-century design.
A lover of wood and natural textures, he has an earnest respect for the material he uses – prioritising an ‘honesty in construction’ philosophy that showcases and celebrates the beauty of materials, such as the naked grain of wood and visible joints.