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Ombra Tokyo Chair

c. 1954/2009

by Charlotte Perriand
for Cassina

Ombra Tokyo Chair

by Charlotte Perriand
for  Cassina

or Call to Order

The Ombra Tokyo chair was designed for the 1954 Synthèse des Arts exhi­bi­tion in Tokyo that featured the work of Char­lotte Perriand, Le Corbusier, and Férnand Léger. Perriand’s inspi­ra­tion was the gentle folds that char­ac­ter­ize Japan­ese origami – here rendered in single die-pressed plywood rather than paper.

A supreme example of Perriand’s mastery of volumes, the Ombra Tokyo chair is shaped by the inher­ent salient thin­ness of the pressed plywood that Perriand has grace­fully manip­u­lated in the most profoundly fluid ways. The legs of Ombra Tokyo appear as though they have been cut and folded from the contin­u­ous seat and back – these splayed verti­cals exquis­itely form gently upturned feet” as they approach the floor. The back of Ombra Tokyo chair has been bifur­cated by a single verti­cal cut that flows into a beau­ti­fully artic­u­lated, curved recti­lin­ear void – allow­ing space to move through the chair’s form, further rein­forc­ing the levity of the design.


Charlotte Perriand

France (1903–1999)

In her eight-decade career, Charlotte Perriand contributed to countless design projects that allowed her to experiment with material. She explored working with tubular steel furniture, natural pieces in ebonized wood, bamboo furniture in Japan, and more. Paying close attention to the functionality of the furniture and the arrangement of the interior environment, Perriand designed pieces that were meant to be comfortably used and enjoyed in a space, as evidenced in her famed 1959 daybed or curved-back LC7 chair. Her revolutionary user-centric approach helped establish her as a seminal figure in the modernist design movement whose legacy endures to this day.

Not long after graduating from Ecole de L'Union Centrale de Arts Decoratifs in Paris, Perriand impressed critics with “Bar Under the Roof,” an installation featuring an aluminum and chrome bar counter and card table presented at the Salon d’Automne in 1927. The showcase established her as an avant-garde talent to watch and wowed a personal icon of hers, Le Corbusier—who invited her to join his studio and work on furniture designs with him and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. The trio went on to craft some of the most enduring modern furniture pieces of the 20th century, such as the widely collected LC4 chaise longue, today produced by Cassina.

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