In the mid-1950s the Bronfman family, owners of the Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Corporation, decided to commemorate the company’s centennial by building a modern office tower on Park Avenue in New York. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was selected as architect for the Seagram Building and Philip Johnson was named as his cooperating local partner.
Johnson’s most memorable contribution to the project was the design of the interiors of The Four Seasons restaurant on the ground floor of the building. Johnson, a disciple of Mies, faithfully specified the modern master’s furniture throughout the interior. A Barcelona table and chairs were used in the lobby, and the flat-bar Brno chair was developed for use in the two large dining rooms.
In the bar room, Johnson specified a stool of Miesian style and proportion. No prior drawings by Mies exist for this design and it is thought that it was most likely a collaborative effort by Johnson and Mies. The restaurant opened in November of 1959. In 2004, Carl Magnusson developed the stool for production in Italy; it was introduced in 2006.