Design

The Swan Chair, a cult object

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Fiberglass-filled plastic shell with cold-hardened foam padding, upholstered in fabric or leather. The foot, in satin aluminum, is pivoting. Seat height 40 cm, h. 77 x 68 x 74 cm. There is a new version with a seat height of 48 cm. Many colors. "Swan" ("Swan"), from 2,737 euros, Fritz Hansen.

Frtiz Hansen / DR

More than 50 years after its creation, the roundness of the Swan chair still seduces. Zoom…

What is the Swan Chair?

An armchair with rounded shapes, created in 1958 by the famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen and destined to furnish the lobby of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, one of its main architectural projects. The "Swan" armchair owes its name to its likeness, in profile, with the bird. Its molded fiberglass shell, upholstered in foam and covered with fabric or leather, pivots on a star-shaped, satin-finished aluminum center stand.

The Swan Chair, why this success?

During the Second World War, the armament industry experimented with new techniques on materials (plastics loaded with fiberglass, molded plywood, Plexiglas, rubber ...) and quickly, the designers are appropriating them. These materials give them the ability to give more flexible shapes to their furniture. With its curves, the armchair "Swan" is the perfect illustration. For added comfort, the hull is coated with cold-hardened foam, a new method of seating that replaces the springs, metal suspensions and cushions used until then. Thanks to this fabulous comfort and this new form, the chair is a great success. He conquers many luxury hotels, then settles at home. Today, it is part of the permanent collection of MoMA in New York.

Why do we continue to love the Swan Chair?

Because it is elegant and comfortable. We love its sculptural form, very cut out and its organic and enveloping curves. Light, it moves easily. It finds its place in the living room and also, thanks to its new seat height since 2009 (48 cm), behind a table or desk. We appreciate finally its vintage look, emblematic of Scandinavian design.

1958 is also ...

- The opening in Sweden of the first Ikea store by Ingvar Kamprad.
- The creation of windsurfing by Peter Chilvers.
- The invention of the Lycra fiber by the firm Dupont de Nemours.
- The creation of NASA.

The heirs of the Swan armchair

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