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Designer Marcel Breuer - Seating Series

When bicycle handlebars inspired a furniture design, namely a Bauuhuas classic, the Wassily chair.

Created in 1925, designer Marcel Breuer produced the very first tubular steel armchair.

After completing his preliminary courses at the Bauhaus school in Weimar, he trained at the Bauhaus furniture workshop. When he started to run the furniture workshop at the new Bauhaus in Dessa, Breuer purchased a bicycle, a steel-framed Adler.

Bikes in Germany's mid-20s were massed produced and made of stainless steel tubes. Breuer visualised taking the tubular steel handlebars and curving them into modern furniture pieces. His bicycle's robustness influenced him with its featherweight frame; he realised bending the steel frame could go further with no welding points so that it could be chromed in parts and put together.

He said, "I am as much interested in the smallest detail as in the whole structure."

Viewing the whole bicycle structure, Brueru mentally broke it down into steel furniture pieces. Why couldn't it be used as furniture? He thought.

Marcel Breuer furniture is an inspiration of shape and form.

The curving tubes of steel and leather slings create a seating statement of functionality and comfortability; widely considered one of the most popular and influential architects and furniture designers of the 20th century, Breuer's tubular steel furniture is a trend that will never go out of style.

Discover this and more Marcel Breuer chairs in this collection we have curated for you.

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About Marcel BreuerMarcel's Breuer furniture and the cycle of design.

How one Adler bike from Germany's mid-20s inspired never seen before bent steel furniture designs.

Designer Marcel Breuer, born in Hungary in the early 1900s, introduced the first tubular steel armchair. Taking his inspiration from his steel bicycle handlebars that "bent like macaroni," the Marcel Breuer chair marked a new era in modern furniture design.

Breuer started his career with a painting scholarship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. However, he soon realised his chosen career path wasn't what he was destined for. So, after weeks of joining, he decided to pursue an apprenticeship with a Viennese architect, abandoning the scholarship and later moving to Weimar, Germany, to train at the Bauhaus furniture workshop, a renowned design school that vastly influenced modernism, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and Constructivism.

The founder, architect Walter Gropius, immediately recognized Breuer's talent and promoted him to head of the carpentry shop.

At Bauhaus, Breuer produced furniture for Gropius' Sommerfeld House in Berlin and his acclaimed series of "Africa". But, for most, Breuer is instantly connected to the Wassily Chair, also known as Model B3. After producing the B3 prototype, Breuer's friend and colleague at Bauhaus, artist Wassily Kandinsky, became so captivated with its design that Breuer decided to make another one just for him and named it after Wassily.

That rare, sought-after original from the 1920s fetched a whopping $30,800 in 1993 at a Sotheby's auction in New York.

Marcel Breuer tubular steel furniture and experiments continued with tables, cantilever chairs, and stools. A more recent piece from his table collection produced for the New York Rosenburg residence fetched $112,000 at Christie's.

Despite being a furniture designer master, he was fascinated with modular construction and simple forms and started to focus more on architectural projects than design. In 1937, Breuer and Gropius moved to the US to teach at Harvard University.

Gropius and Breuer collaborated on various projects throughout his career, including the Frank House in Pittsburgh, a modernist mansion, and a work of art. Coined one of the most flawless examples of Breuer's works, his furniture and interior design concepts can also be found in the Frank house.

He completed over 100 buildings, private houses, universities, and office buildings during his most prolific years, including the former Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Engage in his modern movement, and add a sleek and uncluttered 19-century style to your space.


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