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Wassily Chair - Canvas Seat

Marcel Breuer 1925

Inspired by the frame of a bicycle and influenced by the constructivist theories of the De Stjil movement, Marcel Breuer was still an apprentice at the Bauhaus when he reduced the classic club chair to its elemental lines and planes, forever changing the course of furniture design. A canvas seat brings a softer, more casual look and feel to the classic design.

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Details

Construction and Details
  • Seat is durable natural canvas
  • Frame is seamless tubular steel with a polished chrome finish
  • Four plastic glides snap into pre-drilled holes on base of the chair
  • The KnollStudio logo and signature of Marcel Breuer are stamped into the base of the chair
Sustainable Design and Environmental Certification
  • Certified Clean Air GOLD

Dimensions

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In an interview with a Knoll historian, Marcel Breuer described how he came to begin experimenting with bent tubular steel while at the Bauhaus:

“At that time I was rather idealistic. 23 years old. I made friends with a young architect, and I bought my first bicycle. I learned to ride the bicycle and talked to this young fellow and told him that the bicycle seems to be a perfect production because it hasn’t changed in the last twenty, thirty years. It is still the original bicycle form. He said, “Did you ever see how they make those parts? How they bend those handlebars? You would be interested because they bend those steel tubes like macaroni.”

"This somehow remained in my mind, and I started to think about steel tubes which are bent into frames—probably that is the material you could use for an elastic and transparent chair. Typically, I was very much engaged with the transparency of the form.

"That is how the first chair was made…I realized that the bending had to go further. It should only be bent with no points of welding on it so it could also be chromed in parts and put together. That is how the first Wassily was born. I was myself somewhat afraid of criticism. I didn’t tell anyone I was doing these experiments actually. [Wassily] Kandinsky, who came by chance to my studio when the first chair was brought in, said, “What’s this?” He was very interested and then the Bauhaus got very interested in it. A year later, I had furnished the whole Bauhaus with this furniture.”
 

 

 

Discover the Breuer Collection
in the Archive

Since 1938, Knoll has brought together people and ideas to create inspired objects and spaces. The Archive connects these People, their Products and the Events that shape the Knoll story. Explore the Archive in three views: Timeline, Connections and Grid.

 

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