Already admired by teachers, students and visitors of the Dessau Bauhaus, where it stood in a few houses of the “master town”. And already in 1926, the production beginning year, it was honored as “masterpiece” in the exposition of the Dresden arts hall. The first steel rod lounger B 3 from Marcel Breuer – later known as “Club Lounger” or “Wassily” – soon reached publicity and was part of the interests to the Bauhaus. Finally it should cause a worldwide boom for steel rod furniture that stood for avant-gardism and the break of industrial aesthetics into privacy.
With the also new black-silver contrasts which also remind of valuable jewelry and modern machines, he created “magic of precision”, as a French critic wrote. Breuer saw “apparatus of today’s life” in his furniture. They should be weightless, open, affordable, demountable and hygienic. B 3, which has also been available as folding furniture and which has been built by Breuer in his leisure time together with a locksmith, fulfilled these criteria. Therewith he connected to designs of Gerrit Rietveld among others.
Breuer didn’t create an everyday object with the Wassily Chair as he desired, but a new furniture type and an “abstract-real-sculpture” (Siegfried Geidion), in whose open geometry the minimalism of new form-finders is displayed. It became a real design icon, a central symbol of modern times and not for nothing the first furniture piece that became a classic in the 60es.
By the way: numerous myths are told around the name giving of the Wassily chair. Some say that it got its name because Wassily Kandinsky was the roommate of Marcel Breuer in the Bauhaus. Others say it only has the name because the chair was a design for Wassily Kandisky’s apartment at the Bauhaus in Dessau.
- Characteristics: A classic KnollStudio Design; produced after the original design of Breuer. The KnollStudio logo and the signature of Marcel Breuer are imprinted in the lower frame of the chair.
- Construction: Seamless formed round tube steel, high gloss chromed. Leather straps out of Cowhide leather, Spinneybeck Belting leather and Haired Hide. For usage on hard grounds, the skids are equipped with plastic slides.
- Surface: The upholstery in Cowhide leather is available in black, light brown and natural white. The upholstery in Spinneybeck Belting leather is available in a wide colours selection.
- Awards: The Museum of Modern Art Award, 1968 / Recognition as "Work of Art" Germany, 1982Also in our blog:
Exhibition suggestion: The Bauhaus #itsalldesign