The bentwood technique perfected by Michael Thonet was a source of inspiration for Marcel Breuer’s experiments with bent tubular steel. The four-piece set tables B 9 developed out of this idea. The small tables can be used in diversified ways – as side tables in seating groups, as practical storage surfaces or as the perfect place for a vase with fresh flowers. After using the tables, they can be easily pushed beneath one another in a space-saving way. The special feature of this range is its functional simplicity – the set tables consist only of chrome-plated, bent tubular steel and rectangular panels.
During his time at the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer experimented with steel and tubular steel, a new and promising material for furniture. The close interchange with the aircraft manufacturer Junkers in Dessau accelerated the development process. His first designs included the set tables B 9 and various shelves and pieces of side furniture. The Thonet card catalogue from 1930/31 already included the complete product range. Breuer originally designed the B 9 for the cafeteria of the Bauhaus building in Dessau. The small, versatile table was also used in Walter Gropius’ student’s apartments and Master Houses.
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Marcel Breuer was born in 1902 in Pécs, Hungary. He started an art degree but chose instead to study at the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar from 1920 to 1924. Breuer took over the management of the joiner’s workshop at the Bauhaus from 1925 to 1928, which had meanwhile moved to Dessau. During this time, he was strongly influenced by constructivism and De Stijl and developed a few trend-setting tubular steel furniture designs. In 1928 Breuer moved to Berlin and dedicated himself mainly to the field of interior design. In 1931 he travelled extensively before starting work on several aluminium furniture designs in Switzerland in 1932. Breuer moved to London in 1935, where he worked as an architect. In 1937 he was granted a professorship for architecture at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he later opened an architectural office together with Walter Gropius. Breuer opened his own studio in New York in 1946 and realized numerous designs in Europe and the United States. He is considered one of the most important architects and designers of modernism. Marcel Breuer died on 1 July 1981 in New York.