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Moving: Design cantilever chairs

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A cantilever is a chair design without hind legs – yet this definition does not really describe the very essence of these chairs. Because the special feature of the cantilever is its swinging motion- the seat yields flexibly under pressure. And as the chair responds to every movement a pleasant swinging sensation is created. The seating comfort and its aesthetic design have made the cantilever a true triumph. Whether low-key or stylishly elegant: its extravagant shape and the high changeability of its features make the swinging chair an optimal chair for every purpose. 

The development of the cantilever chair

The cantilever chair is a remarkable example of modern furniture design. The first chair without hind legs was developed by Mart Stam in 1926 with the Kragstuhl - it rests on a completely rigid tube construction. A somewhat higher elasticity Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's gives his design MR20 in 1927. The Hungarian designer Marcel Breuer developed during his Bauhaus period numerous elastic types of tubular steel. Many well-known designers create their own version of the swinging chair to date. 

 

Outstanding cantilever - a selection:

Panton Chair - Vitron

Panton Chair by Vitra

A true icon of furniture design is the legendary Panton Chair by Vitra. The Danish star designer Verner Panton loved experimenting with new materials and developed a unique design language thanks to new manufacturing methods. He created this extraordinary chair in 1959. As the first plastic cantilever chair made from one piece the Panton Chair is a revolution in the history of furniture design. To date, its sculptural effect is undiminished. The Panton Chair Classic made of rigid foam with a glossy finish is still manufactured according to the original design of 1959. The Panton Chair made of polypropylene has a matte finish and was authorized by Verner Panton in 1999.

S43 Thonet

S 43 by Thonet

The tubular steel classic S 43 by Thonet reflects modern spirit. It is one of the first cantilever chairs in furniture history and is considered a typical classic of the Bauhaus era. Designer Mart Stam uses as with all of his designs straight shapes and aesthetically reduced construction. The cubistic shaped cantilever S 43 combines a tubular steel frame with a moulded plywood shell for seat and back - an absolutely minimalist reduction. Since the frame has a very comfortable swinging effect cushioning can be dismissed completely without reducing the seating comfort. 

Brno Stuhl von Knoll

Brno chair by Knoll

One of the most elegant tubular steel cantilever chairs from the Bauhaus era is the striking Brno chair by Knoll. The internationally recognized furniture designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the comfortably padded conference chair upholstered in leather in 1930. With its flamboyant swing, very carefully executed details and an extremely high level of comfort the high-end swinging chair is one of the design icons of the 20th century. Typical of Mies van der Rohes design language is the reduction of the cantilever to its essential elements. With the Brno chair high seating comfort is perfectly combined with purist design.