Wassily Chair -1925 by Marcel Breuer
Timeless Modern Furniture Profile
The Wassily Chair is Marcel Breuer’s best known chair.
Named after his friend, the painter Wassily Kandinsky and designed for the Dessau Bauhaus Buildings.
He is said to have come up with his bent tubular steel concept while looking at the handle bars of his bicycle.
With the help of a local plumber who helped him weld the frame together he managed to achieved the finished product.
He hoped to have the Wassily Chair made on a bicycle production line but no one would take on the project.
The form of the chair is based on the cube. The main frame of the chair appears to be one continuous piece of tubular steel, but it is not. The angle of the seat is very pronounced at 15 degrees from horizontal.
The chair appears light and airy with a fluid sense of movement. The taut sling back seat back and armrests provide strength and tension to the chair.
Breuer’s early designs were influenced by Gerrit Rietveld’s furniture and the de stijl group and the form of flat planes and lines of the Wassily Chair is very similar to those of Rietveld’s Red Blue Chair. Originally the chair was finished in nickel plate, now it is chromium plated, and the fabric was initially eisengarn – which means iron yarn, the chair is now made in leather and is one of the most enduring tubular metal< and leather chairs in production today.
Marcel Breuer was one of the Bauhaus’s finest students, in this chair he encapsulates all his Bauhaus influences, the box / cube shape from Cubists, the intersecting plane composition from de Stijl and the complex skeletal framework from the Constructivists.
About the Designer Find out more of his design philosophies and his design career.
Further Resources on the Designer look for web sites and books here.
Other Marcel Breuer Furniture Items
Cesca Chair – Marcel Breuer – The frame, sled base and back support were all formed from a singular piece of tubing.