cantilever chair S 533 L
cantilever chair S 533 L

S 533 L

cantilever chairDesignMies van der Rohe, 1927

Timeless elegance with the comfort of an armchair: the cantilever chair S 533

Technology becomes furniture; a striking invention becomes an elegant interior design object. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was the first to provide the cantilever chair with aesthetic lightness and to relate it to its environment with curved lines. In the run-up to the Weissenhof Estate exhibition, which he organised, Mies van der Rohe became familiar with the principle of the cantilever chair thanks to Mart Stam. As new as this approach may have been, Mies van der Rohe was not impressed with its first implementation by Stam. He immediately answered the technological innovation with his own aesthetic solution, which he was able to present in 1927. The S 533 is one of the first cantilever chairs, and it defines the surrounding environment with its large, elegantly curved circular tubular steel form. Targeted restriction with regard to the use of materials, elegance of lines, and transparency in its effect are the characteristics of S 533. It owes its exceptional comfort to its ability to constantly adjust to positions through flexing. While most designs from the early 1920s underscore functional aspects with an emphasis on simplicity, the architect’s signature can be sensed in this armchair: Mies van der Rohe’s intentionally luxurious design combines functionality, comfort and timeless aesthetics. The S 533 represents a changed perception of quality.

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Designer
Mies van der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born in 1886 in Aachen, joined Peter Behrens' architectural office at the age of 22; there he met Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. Soon, Mies van der Rohe became a protagonist of the new glass and steel architecture of the time. His design for a glass and steel high-rise building at Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse in Berlin was decisive. He was responsible for the artistic direction of Deutscher Werkbund starting in 1925. In 1927, the Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart was created under his direction. In 1930, Walter Gropius appointed Mies van der Rohe to the position of director of the Bauhaus; on August 10, 1933 he had to close it under pressure from the NSDAP. He afterwards emigrated to the United States. In 1938 he went to Chicago, where he took over the direction of the architecture department at the Armour Institute. He became one of the most influential architects in the world. His steel skeleton buildings with large-scale glass curtain walls such as the Seagram Building in New York (1958) or the National Gallery in Berlin (1968) are among the highlights of modern architecture. His furniture designs usually evolved in connection with his buildings. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe died in 1969 in Chicago.

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