Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Ubiquitous Panton Chair

Every magazine that I open lately seems to feature the classic Panton chair in residential and commercial applications alike. It is as fresh as the day it was born, in 1960, though due to production challenges, not available for purchase until 1967 (with the assistance of Vitra). The designer, Verner Panton (1926-1998), of Denmark, was unhindered in his creativity and imagination. He was the first to create inflatable furniture (remember that?), and the Panton chair was the first single, molded, plastic chair. It stacks, too!

Children have always responded positively to the S-shaped brightly colored chair. Verner Panton always wanted a child's version, but it took 35 years to turn the dream into reality. Panton Junior is a quarter smaller than the regular model and available in seven different colors. The chair is quite comfortable, thanks to the cantilever base, and is usable indoors and out. How many chairs can do that, and stack? It is beautiful on its own, as a single sculpture, or in a group.

I see the Panton chair as an organic shape, as graceful as water flowing over a waterfall, and a perfect foil to vertical and horizontal lines. Here the Panton chair is showcased in the kitchen of Bruno Reymond's Ibiza, Spain, home. The use of industrial concrete floors introduces textural interest and warmth. The chairs are comfortable, fun, and inviting! What a great room!

I think that everyone should have a Panton!

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