The Coconut Chair is a typical 1950s design – it stands out for its humorous touch, formal clarity and minimal use of materials. Nelson himself compared it with a coconut cut into eight parts, and inverted the coconut’s colours: the plastic seat shell is white, while the single-section upholstery comes in a variety of colours. This return to the natural spatial shape of a shell enabled Nelson to create an inviting, comfortable armchair that offers users the freedom to sit in countless different positions. The Ottoman, which Nelson designed to complement the armchair in 1955, ensured even greater sitting comfort and increased the range of uses.
Nelson got inspired by the abstract-surrealistic works of Joan Miró or Alexander Calder.
Nelson compared the Coconut Chair with an eight-piece-sliced coconut, in which he turned the colour of the coconut: The outer seat bucket made of plastic is white, the one-piece pad is available in different colours. The original version was made of a bent steel sheet, whose foam rubber padding was offered with imitation leather, material, or leather covers. The frame was made out of steel tubes which were bent around the shell. Those gave the viewer's eye the expression, that the frame tightened a sweeping, suspended form, and fixed them on the floor.
Vitra started to produce the Coconut Chair in 1988 again.
- Design: George Nelson
- Material: White shell made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic on a chromed tubular steel base frame.
- Measurements: 835 × 1040 × 830 mm