Nigel Coates is a name most would associate with architecture, and rightfully so. But it only takes one look at his bentwood Lehnstuhl Chair and Bodystuhl Chair to know he’s a furniture-designing-force to be reckoned with.
Although bentwood furniture and other items using this method have been made for centuries (in Northern America, First Nation people used this method to make boxes out of single pieces of wood – often used in burial rites) it is no mean feat: this method involves wetting wood by either steaming or soaking it and then bending it into the desired shape. After the wood cures, it retains both its shape and strength.
The No. 14 Chair by Thonet is perhaps the most famous and bestselling bentwood chair and was made by heating its six beechwood slats to 100 °C, pressing them into curved cast-iron moulds and then drying them at around 70 °C for 20 hours. The result was a classic chair that sold some 50 million units between 1859 when it first launched and 1930.
But as the saying goes, style never goes out of fashion and that’s why the Lehnstuhl Bentwood Chair is the perfect designer seating solution for the 21st century. According to Nigel Coates “the Lehnstuhl range was quite challenging because it looks like there aren’t any rules, but of course there are. It’s about studying the language of something that has a technical limitation as well as an aesthetic. I threw myself into what the evolution of Thonet chairs had been and how we could look at that. It was quite a challenge.”
Composed of four curved steam-bent beechwood pieces, the Lehnstuhl Chair combines easily to form an elegant designer lounge chair perfect for the home or casual office environment. The armchair is also available with a matching Lehnstuhl Höcker footrest.