The Landi Chair from Hans Coray is a masterpiece, that is still setting high standards in the design world today. The classic piece is being produced again by Vitra, 75 years after its first presentation on a Swiss exposition in 1939.
The Landi Chair dates back to design’s origins. Hans Coray, a Swiss humanist and artist, designed the aluminium chair as an official outdoor seat for the Swiss National Exposition in 1939. With a doctorate in Romance languages, the self taught furniture designer designed a waterproof chair, that should be as light as it is comfortable. Still today, Landi sets high standards in the design world with its efficient use of materials and functional elegance. As one of Vitra's modern classics, the Landi Chair has a fixed place in the history of design and in numerous international design museums.
Vitra Landi Chair: A pioneer’s achievement of modernity
The Landi Chair used technological progress of aluminium processing as no other model had done at the time. The austere and elegant design is adapted to the industrial production and processing of the material and it entered history as a masterpiece of modernity.
The seat of the Vitra Landi Chair doesn’t only follow the contour of a seated person, but it is also shaped in a transverse direction, unlike the plywood seats of Alvar Aalto. For the first time ever, the result is a three-dimensionally shaped seat shell of which the comfort is further enhanced by the flexibility of the aluminum sheet. The seat has 91 punched holes which give the Landi Chair its characteristic look, and ensures rain water can drain while further reducing its weight.
For the base, Hans Coray uses the aluminium in another form: an extruded section, which is light but also stable thanks to its c-like cross section. The bent aluminium profiles form a pair of legs with armrest and – connected by two thin struts – the frame.
The perforated seat of the Vitra Landi Chair floats on its frame connected solely at four points. As a result, the Landi Chair introduced a constructive approach, which was systematised and perfected by Charles and Ray Eames some years later and which is indispensable in furniture design today: The seat and backrest rest on a self-supporting base frame.
Nowadays, the weatherproof Landi Chair is produced industrially according to the original design of 1939, and it is vertically stackable. The matt anodised surface of the material gives the classic Vitra piece its characteristic silvery shimmering presence.