Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Wassily Chair

Back at the Bauhaus, one of his first projects was the 1926 steel club armchair, also known as the Model B3 chair, and later renamed the Wassily, after the Bauhaus teacher Wassily Kandinsky, for whom it was not designed, but who liked it so much that he ask for a duplicate for his personal quarters.


Width – 31, Depth – 28, Height – 29

Weight : 30 pounds

The original product was only in black and white

It looks very light, pure, without any decoration or ornament, it is bare. It looks pragmatic, useful, but it doesn't look very comfortable because of the angle of the seat. This element makes it differ from conventional chairs which usually have a seat parallel to the ground.


It was made from extruded nickel-plated tubular steel. Unusually light and easy to assemble from ready-made steel tubes, the chair was the result of Breuer's years of experiments with bending steel and was immediately hailed as an important breakthrough in furniture design. "I thought that this out of all my work would earn me the most criticism," he noted, "but the opposite of what I expected came true".

The frame of the chair was made from polished, bent, nickelled tubular steel, which later became chrome plated. The seat came in canvas, fabric or leather in black section.

It was first produced by the manufacturer Thonet.


Nowadays, rates can vary generally for the Wassily chairs. You will find them at costs beginning from $500 to $2000 and above. The Wassily that are manufactured by Knoll are specifically more expensive because they have the official licence. As the chair has been copied a lot, you can find chairs similar to the Wassily chair at lower prices. The most expensive of all are the original models who were produced by Thonet, and went out of production during WWII.


A big part of the success that this chair has is a result of the fact that it was able to fill up a clear place at precisely the correct time. In past times, people were becoming fed up with the same old designs and simply desired something superior.

This chair was revolutionary in the use of the materials and methods of manufacturing. It is said that the handlebar of Breuer's Adler Bicycle inspired him to use steel tubing to build the chair, and it proved to be an appropriate material because it was available in quantity.

The design (and all subsequent steel tubing furniture) was technologically feasible only because the German steel manufacturer Mannesmann had recently perfected a process for making seamless steel tubing. Previously, steel tubing had a welded seam, which would collapse when the tubing was bent.

These days, the Wassily chair holds a proud spot at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. This chair became so well-known through the decades that you can even buy paper prints of it now.


  1. First the design endeared itself to me + to my amaze I find it's named after my second favorite painter = must have.

    1. Beware! Just bought one on ebay. With fake leather! (sob).