by Erik Gunnar Asplund
The Göteborg chair is an extraordinary design from the 1930s that reflects Erik Gunnar Asplund’s profound shift from a career that had been characterized by a style associated with Nordic Classicism to the designer’s wholehearted embrace of the newly emerging movements of Modernism and Functionalism – this shift coincided with the landmark Stockholm Exhibition that celebrated both of these movements in 1930. Göteborg’s form is actually a fascinating fusion of Thonet’s iconic No. 14 café chair from 1859 and the extant Machine Age “tubular aesthetic” that was prevalent throughout continental Europe from the late 1920s through the 1930s.
The Göteborg chair features a thick tubular wood structure with subtly flared legs; its back employs tubular steel that has been padded and upholstered to mimic the thickness of its tubular wood frame engendering a continuous fluid outline. The thick seat cushion is composed of polyurethane foam and becomes a delightful horizontal foil to the gently tapered legs. The Göteborg chair is available in several wood finishes – natural or black-stained ash wood as well as natural or stained walnut. Numerous upholstery options in both textiles and leather are also available.
Erik Gunnar Asplund
Born in Stockholm, Erik Gunnar Asplund occupies a central position in the development of Scandinavian architecture and design of the twentieth century. He is regarded as the archetype of the generation that gave rise to the maturing process of the aforementioned domains, then developed by characters such as Alvar Aalto, Erik Bryggman, Arne Jacobsen, Jørn Utzon. After graduating as an architect in 1909, many trips to Europe and the United States punctuate his apprenticeship. His works from the years 1911 to 1930, influenced by a strong romantic tradition, express a neoclassical language, based on vernacular cultural bases. It is in 1930, the year of the Stockholm Exhibition, that Asplund managed to go beyond the rigid and stereometric language of the first years of rationalism by anticipating in a very personal way the tendencies of the Modern Movement.
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