Monday, November 3, 2014

History of Furniture: Le Corbusier

For this installment of History of Furniture, let's look at another staple of modernism: furnishings by Le Corbusier.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris was a Swiss architect, designer, urban planner, artist, and writer who participated in the birth of Modernism as an artistic and civil movement. In 1920, early in his career, he adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier (a version of his mother's father's name). Starting in 1928, Le Corbusier collaborated with Charlotte Perriand, another architect he invited to join his design studio, to create a series of chairs and lounges that are still being used today.

The first chair to be produced was the LC-1, consisting of a frame of steel tubing with tightly wrapped leather panels for the seat, seat back, and arm rests. Black or white leather was common but the chair is now available in options like hair-on-hide, seen below. (Note: this chair is often confused with the Marcel Breuer Wassily chair which was covered here in a History of Furniture post about Bauhaus and De Stijl.)

This was followed by the iconic LC-2 and LC-3 chairs whose designs were based on the idea of a cube. The LC-2 is smaller but the LC-3 is scaled a little larger, with ever-so-slightly lower arms.

The frame is made of--you guessed it--chrome on steel tubing. The only company that holds the license for Le Corbusier's designs, Cassina, now make these pieces with powder coated tubing in different colors.

And finally, the LC-4 lounge chair is a modernist masterpiece, taking its place alongside Mies van der Rohe's legendary day bed, previously seen here.

Le Corbusier designed many influential and famous buildings, structures, and homes. He became a French citizen in 1930 and died on August 27, 1965 while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.

These timeless pieces he gifted us will add a bit of architectural interest to any space. They are available through Cassina:

Happy designing!

No comments: