A design classic. Backenzahn means “molar” in German and is an apt moniker for perhaps one of Philipp Mainzer’s best-known pieces for e15. The enigmatic Backenzahn stool can also function as a side/occasional table and features a structure of four “post-like” legs that have been joined together to create the atypical volume. Each of the legs has been articulated as a separate element – the narrow gap between posts becomes a cruciform element at the top when viewed aerially. This gap also creates a wonderful shadow along the sides of the Backenzahn stool not only highlighting the three-dimensional nature of the respective elements but creating an engaging depth within the overall composition.
The wood used in creating Backenzahn is northern European oiled oak or walnut through which Mainzer celebrates the natural irregularities of the wood – striations, grain, and splits. As a result, every Backenzahn stool created is slightly different from each other – the only homogenizing features are its uniform size and the type of wood from which it has been created. The base of each of the post elements has been cut to create the stylized form that mimics the roots of a tooth. The tops of each are slightly concave – when joined they form a shallow depression to engender ergonomics as a seat. While this concave top can also be used as a surface, e15 also offers the Backenzahn stool with a flat top better suited to its use as a side/occasional table.
German designer, Philipp Mainzer, specializes in product design, furniture design, interiors, and architecture. He studied in London, at the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design for product design, and the Architectural Association for architecture. Mainzer is best known as the co-founder of the modern furniture brand, e15. Named after the zip code in the East London Hackney district where his first studio was located, e15 collaborates with various designers to create many notable modern furniture designs. While establishing the furniture company, Mainzer also developed an architectural practice in New York. By 2001, Mainzer had moved on to establish an architecture and design firm in Germany. More recently, he has emerged back into the furniture world with the debut of jorel, a storage system for Interlubke, which won an Interior Innovation Award in 2017.
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